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The Shopworn Angel

The Shopworn Angel(1938)

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  • A shopworn film

    • Mr. Blandings
    • 10/23/14

    Sappy, contrived, and depressing. Sullavan is her usual unappealing self.

  • Bittersweet and heartwarming film

    • Cynthia Brideson
    • 1/14/11

    "The Shopworn Angel" is the second onscreen pairing of James Stewart and Margaret Sullavan. They are a delight to see and certainly their offscreen chmsitry is evident onscreen as well. In this film, Margaret's role as a jaded actress and James's as a naive, starry eyed soldier perfectly complement each other. Though opposites, their relationship is believable. James's innocent charm would be imposible to resist, even for such a wary woman as Margaret in the film. Especially effective in this movie are the small details such as James's boyish posting of Margaret's photograph in his army locker, the ice cream they share at a drugstore, and the figurine of the Staute of Liberty they win together at a carnival. Each detail is handled with such care in the film that when the staute of liberty figurine is later broken at one point in the movie, the vieiwer feels as if James and Margaret's relationship has been broken. Though the film may seem overly sentimental and predictable (Margaret and James get married, James dies a hero in the war, Marget's cold heart turns warm and she's from then on friendly to all her fans--especially the soldiers), it's the sincerity and strong performances from the lead actors that make it overcome its weaknesses. Rather than fall into trite melodrama, it is a touching, quiet film that is one of the best exampes of James Stewart's early career and leaves no question as to why he's considered the classic All-American actor.

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