Watch The Shopworn Angel
- 1 hr 25 min
In the classic romance drama film, The Shopworn Angel, directed by H.C. Potter and released in 1938, Margaret Sullavan and James Stewart star as a couple who fall in love during World War I. The film follows the emotional journey of Daisy Heath (Sullavan), a small-town girl who dreams of becoming a Broadway star. In an effort to make her dreams a reality, she moves to New York City and begins working at a burlesque theater. While her acting career takes off, her personal life takes a turn for the worse when she becomes involved with a sleazy nightclub owner named Nick (Walter Pidgeon). As war breaks out in Europe, Daisy's younger brother Bobby (Neil Hamilton) enlists in the army and is sent to fight in France. Desperate to contribute to the war effort in some way, Daisy joins a group of women who knit socks for the soldiers. It is at one of these gatherings that she meets Bill Pettigrew (James Stewart), a shy and awkward soldier who is immediately taken with Daisy's beauty and charm. In an effort to lift Bill's spirits, Daisy starts writing him letters and sending him care packages. As the two continue to correspond, they develop a close bond and begin to fall in love. When Bill is wounded in battle, he is sent home to recover. Daisy offers to take care of him and the two spend their days exploring the city and falling deeper in love. However, their budding romance is threatened by the return of Nick, who is determined to win Daisy back. As Daisy struggles to choose between the two men, she must also come to terms with the fact that the war has irrevocably changed both her and the world around her. The Shopworn Angel is a beautifully crafted film that explores the themes of love, sacrifice, and the impact of war on those left behind. Margaret Sullavan delivers an outstanding performance as Daisy, capturing the character's vulnerability and strength with equal grace. James Stewart, in one of his earliest leading roles, gives a sensitive and nuanced portrayal of Bill, imbuing the character with a quiet charm and gentle humor. Walter Pidgeon is also excellent as the slimy Nick, whose manipulative behavior adds a layer of tension to the film. The film's cinematography and production design are also noteworthy, with the sepia-toned flashbacks to Daisy's youth contrasting beautifully with the gritty realism of wartime New York. The film's score, composed by Franz Waxman, is equally impressive, heightening the emotional resonance of key scenes. Overall, The Shopworn Angel is a poignant and affecting film that has stood the test of time. It is a rare gem of early Hollywood cinema that still resonates with audiences today, thanks to its timeless themes and superb performances.