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The Shop Around the Corner (1940)

Passed  |   |  Comedy, Drama, Romance  |  12 January 1940 (USA)
8.1
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Ratings: 8.1/10 from 17,705 users  
Reviews: 128 user | 54 critic

Two employees at a gift shop can barely stand one another, without realizing that they're falling in love through the post as each other's anonymous pen pal.

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(screenplay), (based on a play by) (as Nikolaus Laszlo) , 1 more credit »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
...
...
Sara Haden ...
Felix Bressart ...
William Tracy ...
...
Ilona
Sarah Edwards ...
Woman Customer
...
Doctor
Charles Halton ...
Detective
Charles Smith ...
Rudy
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Storyline

In Budapest, Hungary, the Matuschek and Company store is owned by Mr. Hugo Matuschek and the bachelor Alfred Kralik is his best and most experienced salesman. When Klara Novak seeks a job position of saleswoman in the store, Matuschek hires her but Kralik and she do not tolerate each other. Meanwhile the lonely and dedicated Kralik has an unknown pen pal that he intends to propose very soon; however, he is fired without explanation by Matuschek in the night that he is going to meet his secret love. He goes to the bar where they have scheduled their meeting with his colleague Pirovitch and he surprisingly finds that Klara is his correspondent; however, ashamed with the unemployment, he does not disclose his identity to her. When Matuschek discovers that he had misjudged Kralik and committed a mistake, he hires him again for the position of manager. But Klara is still fascinated with her future fiancé and does not pay much attention to Kralik. Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Romance

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

12 January 1940 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Rendez-vous  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The play, "Parfumerie" (also known as "Illatszertár"), was copyrighted 10 November 1936. See more »

Goofs

After dismissing his employees for the night, Mr. Matuschek sees Vadas leave the shop. As he watches him close the door, you can clearly hear off camera directions that sound like "turn" and "he's gone." See more »

Quotes

Klara Novak (Miss Novak): [In her letter to Alfred] : Oh, my Dear Friend, my heart was trembling as I walked into the post office, and there you were, lying in Box 237. I took you out of your envelope and read you, read you right there.
See more »

Connections

Featured in The Nostalgia Chick: You've Got Mail (2011) See more »

Soundtracks

Ochi Tchornya (Dark Eyes)
(uncredited)
Traditional Russian folk song
Played by the cigarette case and later by the string quartet at the cafe
See more »

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User Reviews

Very Enjoyable
8 January 2003 | by (Ohio) – See all my reviews

With a very good cast, a nice blend of wit and sentiment, and many other pluses, this classic remains as enjoyable and charming as ever. The fluffy but pleasant story benefits greatly from the Lubitsch touch, since he had the knack of giving significance to little things without taking them or himself too seriously. Presenting his characters honestly yet sympathetically, he makes the somewhat contrived situation seem believable and worth caring about. Its appeal comes across as almost effortless, but you only have to compare it with the less effective 90's remake to see how important the right touch is with this kind of story.

The atmosphere of life in the Budapest shop is set up efficiently and convincingly, and the cast all settle into their roles seamlessly. As the leads, Jimmy Stewart works perfectly, of course, and Margaret Sullavan conveys the right balance of spunkiness and vulnerability. Felix Bressart is invaluable, giving perhaps the finest performance among his many character roles. In some of his scenes, he barely has to say a word to make you smile. Frank Morgan is surprisingly good in a role rather different than usual for him, Joseph Schildkraut is effectively oily as the deceitful Vadas, and the others all help out, too. Lubitsch gives all of the characters a chance to come to life without pretense, just by using simple details effectively.

It all fits together very well, moves at just the right pace, and makes you a part of the characters' world. It makes for a very enjoyable movie that holds up very well even after several viewings.


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