Lively, entertaining reviews of, and essays on, old and newer films and everything relating to them, written by professional author William Schoell.

Thursday, November 21, 2013


Barbara Stanwyck and Regis Toomey
SHOPWORN (1932). Director: Nicholas Grinde.

Kitty Lane (Barbara Stanwyck), a girl from the wrong side of the tracks, winds up as a waitress in a literally greasy spoon where she meets David Livingstone (Regis Toomey). David wants to marry Kitty, but his termagant, selfish mother (Clara Blandick) refuses to countenance the idea of her son, who's studying to be a doctor, marrying a common waitress, and trumps up charges against her with the aid of an odious judge friend [it's quite satisfying watching Toomey give this creep a knock-out punch]. Years later Kitty has become a famous Broadway star, of course, and David comes calling ... can this love be rekindled and will mama allow it to happen? Stanwyck is fine in a Joan Crawford rags-to-riches role, and Toomey is very adept and appealing. The developments are unlikely, the script mediocre, but the stars manage to put it over if nothing else. Zazu Pitts plays yet another dithery friend of the heroine's. Blandick is fine as the mother from Hell. Toomey later did such TV shows as Shannon and Grinde directed a great many movies, including a few Boris Karloff thrillers such as The Man They Could Not Hang.

Verdict: Stanwyck is almost always watchable in anything and she's made worse. **.

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