The film deals with two sisters, Xiao Hong (Zhou Xuan) and Xiao Yun (Zhao Huishen) who live under the brutal thumb of their landlords. Xiao Yun has already been forced into prostitution while her sister serves as a teahouse singer. Soon the sisters realize that the landlords have decided to sell Xiao Hong to a wealthy patron, whereupon they seek the aid of their neighbors, a street musician, Xiao Chen (Zhao Dan), and his misfit friends.
Street Angel is often praised for its mix of melodrama and comedy. One sequence in particular, where Xiao Chen and his friends attempt to act as barbers reveals a moment of slapstick or physical comedy in the otherwise dreary third act.
Praised for its portrayal of the downtrodden in Shanghai at the time of its release, today, Street Angel is often considered one of the classics of the "leftist" filmmaking period that reached its peak in the 1930s. It was selected as one of the Best 100 Chinese Motion Pictures by the 24th Hong Kong Film Awards, ranked 11th.
Cast and rolesEdit
- Zhou Xuan - Xiao Hong
- Zhao Huishen - Xiao Yun, Xiao Hong's older sister
- Zhao Dan - Chen Shaoping, aka. Xiao Chen, Xiao Hong's boyfriend. A trumpet player who lives across the alley
- Wei Heling - Wang, the newspaper seller and Chen's best friend
- Template:Internet Archive (full movie)
- Template:Imdb title
- Template:Amg title
- Profile on the success of Street Angel upon its release
- English translation of the Street Angel script