Elmer Rice's Pulitzer Prize-winning play was purchased for the screen by producer Samuel Goldwyn in 1931. The entire story takes place on the street in front of a foreboding old New York brownstone between one evening and the next afternoon. The individual fates of eight neighboring Manhattan families intertwine during this brief time. Special emphasis is given the Maurrant family: the philandering mother (Estelle Taylor), the drink-sodden husband (David Landau) and long-suffering daughter Rose (Sylvia Sidney, in one of her earliest screen performances). When the husband catches the wife "in the act" with a bill-collector (Russell Hopton), the resulting tragedy is not shown, but reflecting in the wildly varying reactions of neighbors and passersby. Though resisting the temptation to "open up" the play, director King Vidor nonetheless injects his cinematic know-how into the proceedings, by utilizing an entirely different camera setup or angle for each individual "take.” The cast of Street Scene includes several carry-overs from the Broadway original, including David Landau, Max Montor, Matt McHugh (brother of Frank), John Qualen, George Humbert, Tom H. Manning, and Anna Konstant. The film also provided composer Alfred Newman, then newly arrived in Hollywood from California, with an opportunity to compose one of his best-known themes: the Street Scene theme was recycled in countless Fox films of the 40s and 50s as general city music and its most glamorous incarnation in the screen prelude that preceded How to Marry a Millionaire,the second CinemaScope feature, in which Newman conducts a performance of the theme with his Twentieth Century Fox Orchestra.