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

Thursday, July 24, 2014


Margaret Sullavan and James Stewart
THE SHOPWORN ANGEL (1938). Director: H. C. Potter.

At the start of WW 1 Daisy Heath (Margaret Sullavan) is a sophisticated, world-weary Broadway star who is engaged to Sam Bailey (Walter Pidgeon of Forbidden Planet). Both Daisy and Sam are rather cynical about the war and soldiers, until Daisy meets a young Army man named Bill (Jimmy Stewart). Having no girlfriend, Bill has told his pals that Daisy is his gal, and she goes along with it out of compassion. Daisy begins to see Bill on a regular basis, telling herself and Sam that she's just being kind, but real feelings between both begin to develop. And then Daisy learns that Bill's unit is going overseas ... The Shopworn Angel is a lovely movie that features a superb performance from Sullavan [Only Yesterday] and excellent work from her two leading men; Hattie McDonald [Everybody's Baby] also scores, as usual, as Martha. If the film has any flaw it's that some may consider the ending more ridiculous than moving.

Verdict: Another luminescent Sullavan performance. ***.

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