9 August 2015 | GManfred
Incomplete "Shopworn Angel"
This silent version of "The Shopworn Angel" is missing the last two reels due to nitrate deterioration and was restored to its present state by The Library Of Congress, which added a 2 min.,45 sec. video summary of the missing reels.
I reviewed the 1938 remake and can say that this original is the better of the two. What sets it apart is the acting, to take nothing away from James Stewart and Margaret Sullavan. But Gary Cooper and especially Nancy Carroll infused their characters with a depth of feeling not found in the remake and achieved the Hollywood goal of suspending the audiences disbelief. Ms Carroll goes from a cynical hardness to heartfelt affection for Cooper's naive, genuine Cpl. Tyler. Paul Lukas plays Ms Carroll's 'benefactor' and is quite good - Cooper's character thinks he is her guardian. Lukas' role was cleaned up for the remake with Walter Pidgeon as her agent, as the Hays Office strikes again and diminishes one of the better story lines to come out of Hollywood.
The disappointment of the missing reels was offset by the organ accompaniment at the showing at Capitolfest in Rome,NY, which showed the film last week.