Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Shopworn (1932)


Stanwyck plays a Kitty Lane, a girl who after her father is killed is forced to go live and work with her sister, whose husband owns a cheap diner on a college campus. She goes to work as a waitress sassing all the college boys and her oppressive, annoying brother in law. Eventually she meets a nice rich college boy (Regis Toomy) who wants to marry her, but the guy's hypochondriac mother refuses. The mother has her arrested on a prostitution charge and she is sent to a reformitory where she is worked to exhaustion. After she gets out, she works her way up from show girl to Broadway star (in an amusing 20 second montage of showbills). This is Barbara Stanwyck at her toughest telling off everyone every few minutes. My favorite scene is when she gets arrested and goads the police who mistakenly imagine she will come quietly "Come in here copper, and earn your pay!" I love the opening of the film, when moments after defending her choice to wear high heeled shoes to work, she runs across a mountain stream in them to get the site of her father's accident. The romantic plot is a bit plodding and I don't care much for Toomy or his character in this film. But Shopworn is certainly worth watching to see Stanwyck at her spunky best.


kda0121 said...

Regis Toomey, who actually played some leads in a few precodes, eventually became one of the busiest and reliable bit actors in Hollywood. He was in scores of movies, sometimes just for a few minutes of screen time. From what little I've been able to find about him, Toomey actually liked it that way. His female counterpart in the bit part department was Ann Doran, who incidentally, played Toomey's wife in Meet John Doe, starring Barbara. Doran's biggest role was as James Dean's mother in Rebel Without a Cause.

Jennythenipper said...

I thought I recognized him. I just wasn't impressed by him as the romantic lead at all.

AbbyNormal said...

I can't get this one through Netflix so maybe I will catch it on TCM some time. I don't have tivo so the chances are slim I suppose :-)