The Shopworn Angel (1938)

85 mins | Romance | 15 July 1938

Director:

H. C. Potter

Writer:

Waldo Salt

Cinematographers:

Joseph Ruttenberg, William Daniels

Editor:

W. Donn Hayes

Production Designer:

Cedric Gibbons

Production Company:

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Corp.
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HISTORY

According to news items in HR , the rights to Dana Burnet's short story, "Pettigrew's Girl," were bought by M-G-M from Paramount, which had produced a version of the story under the original title in 1919, starring Ethel Clayton and Monte Blue under George H. Medford's direction and a 1928 version under the title The Shopworn Angel , starring Nancy Carroll and Gary Cooper, under Richard Wallace's direction (see entries above). M-G-M originally had intended it as a vehicle for Jean Harlow. In Jul 1937, after Harlow's death, it was announced that Waldemar Young was "to script" the picture, however, he is not credited elsewhere, and the extent of his participation in the released film has not been determined.
       Joan Crawford and Dennis O'Keefe were announced as the new leads in Oct 1937, however, Rosalind Russell was announced as Crawford's replacement in Mar 1938. Late in Mar, FD and HR carried news items stating that although Russell was to have played the lead, studio executives decided that she should instead appear in its British studio production The Citadel (see above), and that Margaret Sullavan should play the lead in The Shopworn Angel . A news item in HR on 28 Mar 1938 noted that the picture was starting that day with Melvyn Douglas and James Stewart, however, a production chart on another page of the same HR issue includes Walter Pidgeon in the cast, not Douglas. According to other news items, Richard Thorpe was the first director mentioned for the film, followed by Julien Duvivier. Maurice Maurice was also announced as Duvivier's aide. ... More Less

According to news items in HR , the rights to Dana Burnet's short story, "Pettigrew's Girl," were bought by M-G-M from Paramount, which had produced a version of the story under the original title in 1919, starring Ethel Clayton and Monte Blue under George H. Medford's direction and a 1928 version under the title The Shopworn Angel , starring Nancy Carroll and Gary Cooper, under Richard Wallace's direction (see entries above). M-G-M originally had intended it as a vehicle for Jean Harlow. In Jul 1937, after Harlow's death, it was announced that Waldemar Young was "to script" the picture, however, he is not credited elsewhere, and the extent of his participation in the released film has not been determined.
       Joan Crawford and Dennis O'Keefe were announced as the new leads in Oct 1937, however, Rosalind Russell was announced as Crawford's replacement in Mar 1938. Late in Mar, FD and HR carried news items stating that although Russell was to have played the lead, studio executives decided that she should instead appear in its British studio production The Citadel (see above), and that Margaret Sullavan should play the lead in The Shopworn Angel . A news item in HR on 28 Mar 1938 noted that the picture was starting that day with Melvyn Douglas and James Stewart, however, a production chart on another page of the same HR issue includes Walter Pidgeon in the cast, not Douglas. According to other news items, Richard Thorpe was the first director mentioned for the film, followed by Julien Duvivier. Maurice Maurice was also announced as Duvivier's aide. H. C. Potter was brought in as director in late Mar 1938, after having been borrowed from Samuel Goldwyn.
       Harold Rosson was mentioned at that time as the cameraman, however, he was not credited on production charts or in reviews. Although William Daniels was listed as the camerman in early HR production charts, only Joseph Ruttenberg is credited onscreen and in reviews. Actress Dorothy Koster's name is included in an early HR production chart, however, her appearance in the completed film has not been confirmed. Sullavan's singing voice was dubbed by Broadway musical-comedy star Mary Martin. Modern sources indicate that Universal's The Rage of Paris , which was filmed at approximately the same time as The Shopworn Angel was Martin's first film "bit" role. According to records of the M-G-M Music Collection at the USC Cinema-Television Library, Martin's recording of "Pack Up Your Troubles in Your Old Kit Bag and Smile, Smile, Smile" was made on 1 Jun 1938. More Less

BIBLIOGRAPHIC SOURCES
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Daily Variety
6 Jul 38
p. 3.
Film Daily
31 Mar 38
p. 9.
Film Daily
29 Jun 38
p. 8.
Hollywood Reporter
22 Jul 37
p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter
25 Oct 37
p. 5.
Hollywood Reporter
16 Dec 37
p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter
12 Mar 38
p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter
14 Mar 38
p. 5.
Hollywood Reporter
28 Mar 38
p. 1, 6
Hollywood Reporter
2 May 38
p. 48.
Motion Picture Daily
29 Jun 38
p. 5.
Motion Picture Herald
30 Apr 38
p. 25.
Motion Picture Herald
9 Jul 38
p. 28, 31
New York Times
8 Jul 38
p. 1.
Variety
13 Jul 38
p. 15.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
PRODUCER
WRITERS
Contr to story development
PHOTOGRAPHY
ART DIRECTORS
Art dir
Art dir assoc
FILM EDITOR
Film ed
COSTUMES
Gowns
MUSIC
Mus score
SOUND
Rec dir
VISUAL EFFECTS
Mont eff
STAND INS
Singing voice double for Margaret Sullavan
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the short story "Private Pettigrew's Girl" by Dana Burnet in The Saturday Evening Post (14 Sep 1918).
AUTHOR
SONGS
"Pack Up Your Troubles in Your Old Kit Bag and Smile, Smile, Smile," music by Felix Powell, lyrics by George Asaf.
DETAILS
Release Date:
15 July 1938
Production Date:
28 March--6 May 1938
Copyright Claimant:
Loew's Inc.
Copyright Date:
5 July 1938
Copyright Number:
LP8128
Physical Properties:
Sound
Western Electric Sound System
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
85
Length(in reels):
9
Country:
United States
PCA No:
4302
SYNOPSIS

In 1918, Daisy Heath, the popular star of a Broadway revue, callously dismisses the soldiers who flock to her show before they are shipped to France to fight in World War I. Daisy's manager, Sam Bailey, who is in love with her, is worried about her increasingly jaded view of life. One night, when Daisy's car accidentally bumps naive soldier William Pettigrew, she gives him a lift and Bill tries to impress his friends by saying that she is his girl. Later, when Bill puts Daisy's picture up in the barracks and brags about her, his pals trick him into arranging an introduction for them. Worried that his friends will know he has been lying, Bill goes to Daisy and begs her to help him. She is at first reluctant, but finally agrees and even goes with Bill for an ice cream after meeting his friends. When they part, she says that he can "pretend" to call her once in a while if he wants. Soon Sam notices that Daisy's attitude toward life is softening and likes the change. One morning, when Bill calls Daisy's apartment, her maid Martha tells him that she is too sick to come to the phone. Not knowing that Daisy merely has a hangover, Bill buys flowers and candy and rushes to Daisy's apartment. He meets Sam there, who doesn't reveal his true relationship to Daisy. Although Daisy tells Sam that she is merely fond of Bill, Sam worries that her feelings are deeper. A short time later, Sam arranges for Daisy to give a show at Bill's camp. After the performance, ... +


In 1918, Daisy Heath, the popular star of a Broadway revue, callously dismisses the soldiers who flock to her show before they are shipped to France to fight in World War I. Daisy's manager, Sam Bailey, who is in love with her, is worried about her increasingly jaded view of life. One night, when Daisy's car accidentally bumps naive soldier William Pettigrew, she gives him a lift and Bill tries to impress his friends by saying that she is his girl. Later, when Bill puts Daisy's picture up in the barracks and brags about her, his pals trick him into arranging an introduction for them. Worried that his friends will know he has been lying, Bill goes to Daisy and begs her to help him. She is at first reluctant, but finally agrees and even goes with Bill for an ice cream after meeting his friends. When they part, she says that he can "pretend" to call her once in a while if he wants. Soon Sam notices that Daisy's attitude toward life is softening and likes the change. One morning, when Bill calls Daisy's apartment, her maid Martha tells him that she is too sick to come to the phone. Not knowing that Daisy merely has a hangover, Bill buys flowers and candy and rushes to Daisy's apartment. He meets Sam there, who doesn't reveal his true relationship to Daisy. Although Daisy tells Sam that she is merely fond of Bill, Sam worries that her feelings are deeper. A short time later, Sam arranges for Daisy to give a show at Bill's camp. After the performance, Daisy is touched by Bill's peaceful fatalism towards death in the war and agrees to show him the sights. The next night, Bill and Daisy return to her apartment after their happy excursion on the town and Sam is waiting. After Bill leaves, Sam jealousy accuses Daisy of being in love with Bill. Daisy is shocked at his outburst and tenderly assures him that there is no need for jealousy because she only loves Bill as a friend. The next day, Bill learns that he is being shipped out and goes AWOL to see Daisy at the theater. Though she has promised Sam never to see Bill again, she leaves the matinee show to spend the rest of the day with Bill. Returning to her apartment, they are again met by Sam, who is hurt that Daisy broke her promise. Not realizing how Sam and Daisy feel about each other, Bill asks Sam for his blessing to marry Daisy. After asking Bill if she can speak to Sam alone, Daisy tells Sam that it was Bill's sweetness that softened her enough to realize her love for Sam. Because she wants to give Bill something to live for while he is at the front, she says that she must marry Bill, but promises to tell him the truth as soon as he returns. Though hurt, Sam cannot bring himself to shatter Bill's illusions and reluctantly goes to the wedding. Some months later, while Daisy is performing in a nightclub, Martha bringss Sam a letter that has arrived for Daisy from the war department, revealing Bill's death. When Daisy sees Sam's reaction to the letter, she knows what has happened, but bravely finishes singing "Pack Up Your Troubles in Your Old Kit Bag and Smile, Smile, Smile," as tears fill her eyes. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.