Shop Angel (1932)

A dress designer is attracted to the fiancée of her boss' daughter, not knowing that her boss himself is in love with her.


E. Mason Hopper


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Credited cast:
Marion Shilling ... Dorothy Hayes
Holmes Herbert ... James Walton Kennedy
Anthony Bushell ... Larry Pemberton
Walter Byron ... Don Irwin
Dorothy Christy ... Margot Kennedy
Creighton Hale ... Maxie Morton
Hank Mann ... Mr. Weinberg
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Nan Preston Nan Preston ... French Maid


A dress designer is attracted to the fiancée of her boss' daughter, not knowing that her boss himself is in love with her.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

boss | love | dress | designer | daughter | See All (36) »


Drama | Romance







Release Date:

19 March 1932 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Photophone Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?


The failure of the original copyright holder to renew the film's copyright resulted in it falling into public domain, meaning that virtually anyone could duplicate and sell a VHS/DVD copy of the film. Therefore, many of the versions of this film available on the market are either severely (and usually badly) edited and/or of extremely poor quality, having been duped from second- or third-generation (or more) copies of the film. See more »

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User Reviews

Half-and-Half Poverty Row Drama
17 April 2019 | by skinnybertSee all my reviews

Billed by Alpha Video as a "Lost Pre-Code Classic", which is about half correct; it obviously isn't lost, but being from 1932 does make it technically "Pre-Code". Which it is: after the obligatory clothes-changing scene, our plot launches toward the usual older-male-boss/younger-female-employee dilemma. But where most Pre-Coders let financial necessity propel the pretty young thing toward the penthouse, this heroine isn't in dire straits -- she's only motivated toward career betterment, believing her work should win over the boss. Of course, his more personal interest is the larger obstacle, which she must manage at her own peril.

Complicating things is the boss' rather controlling (and suspicious) daughter, and our heroine's helpful-but-too-personally-interested co-worker. But the daughter has a fiance, who also takes an interest, and then there's the reporter, who also -- well, let's just say there are a lot of irons in this fire, and our heroine can't really juggle them all without getting burned.

Which makes this a remarkably modern movie, showcasing as it does the male hazards of female career management. Tower Productions must have spent good money on the sets because this looks very much like one of the majors -- just lacking in big-names stars. Marion Shilling carries the film rather well if a bit mannered, though no more than was usual for the time -- a B-movie Mary Astor. And Holmes Herbert is as credible as C. Aubrey Smith would be in the same role, perhaps more so. Creighton Hale gets a bit to do as the reporter, a more-tolerable Lee Tracy type -- very different from his silent-era leading-man roles, and meatier than the lesser roles he would soon be doing for the remainder of his career (one can almost outline Hollywood's history through his film appearances).

Public-domain status means this is available in shoddy form -- cheap, chopped up, blurry DVDs of dodgy sound. With no big stars attached to it, there's little reason for anyone to find a good print and clean it up, which is a shame. While occasionally suffering from early-talkie blues (loud clear speaking to overcome nearby sounds, hissy soundtrack), SHOP ANGEL clearly aspired to a higher calling than simply warming seats for 65 minutes. The sets, costumes, and social commentary make this a classy achievement from a lesser studio, so I hope a better copy comes along. Until then, still a minor classic worth seeing.

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