Review: ‘The Shopworn Angel’

Original of Shopworn Angel first appeared about 20 years earlier as a Sat Eve Post story by Dana Burnet. Paramount filmed it (partly in sound) in 1928, with Nancy Carroll, Gary Cooper and Paul Lukas.

Original of Shopworn Angel first appeared about 20 years earlier as a Sat Eve Post story by Dana Burnet. Paramount filmed it (partly in sound) in 1928, with Nancy Carroll, Gary Cooper and Paul Lukas.

In general, this remake follows the original story with reasonable faithfulness. It’s still the wartime yarn about the crafty Broadway chorine who meets a Texas rookie on his way to France and, when he falls for her, marries him rather than disillusion him. Latter pair had their first strong parts in the production and it established their reps as well as cleaned up financially. The present version seems a softer one, without the stark edges of the original and as a result less absorbing. Instead of the cool schemer played by Nancy Carroll, the chorine is now generous and warm-hearted. The girl’s lover is no longer the menace of the earlier version, but is now the typical Walter Pidgeon man-who-doesn’t-get-the-girl.

It is only occasional credible screen drama. As the girl, Margaret Sullavan turns in a powerful performance. Her playing is pliant, has depth and eloquence.

James Stewart is a natural enough rookie but there’s little characterization in his performance.

The Shopworn Angel

Production

M-G-M. Director H.C. Potter; Producer Joseph L. Mankiewicz; Screenplay Waldo Salt; Camera Joseph Ruttenberg; Editor W. Donn Hayes; Music Edward Ward; Art Director Cedric Gibbons, Joseph C. Wright, Edwin C. Willis

Crew

(B&W) Extract of a review from 1938. Running time: 85 MIN.

With

Margaret Sullavan James Stewart Walter Pidgeon Hattie McDaniel Nat Pendleton Alan Curtis

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