Joyless Street, The

1274. THE JOYLESS STREET (The Street Of Sorrows) (Die Freudlose Gasse) (1925-Germany). With ASTA NIELSEN, WERNER KRAUSS, GRETA CARBO. Directed by G.W. PABST. This is not only a major work, but is also Greta Garbo’s final European feature before embarking on her Hollywood career, it’s a stark, hauntingly realistic drama which details the devastating physical and psychological effects of war. The setting is a small, seedy street in post-World War I Vienna, and the scenario chronicles the lives and despair of its residents; their existences are contrasted to the volatile, ostentatious lives of selfish, greedy profiteers. The cast is most impressive; all of its top players, with the exception of Garbo, were then established stars of the European cinema; Asia Nielsen, cast here as a kept woman, was one of the screen’s leading tragediennes. The film is also a key title in the career of its director, G.W. Pabst. II was his second feature, and it helped establish him as a primary exponent of pessimistic realism in the German cinema. Pabst had admired the still relatively unknown Garbo’s work in her previous film Costa Berlings Saga, and he signed her for the role of the young, virginal daughter of a bankrupt, impoverished councilor-a character in clear contrast to both Nielsen’s part, and the types of roles that brought her fame in Hollywood. Title cards in English. Silent film with original organ score, correct projection speed. 124 minutes. ÒSilentÓ Drama