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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 16,558 users  
Reviews: 124 user | 50 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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(screen play), (based on a play by), 1 more credit »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
...
...
Sara Haden ...
Flora
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

Plot Keywords:

love | salesman | pen pal | gift | unemployment | See more »

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

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 Screen Guild Theater" broadcast a 30 minute radio adaptation of the movie on February 26, 1945 with Felix Bressart reprising his film role. See more »

Goofs

Pirovitch looks through the right side of the Cafe window from outside and tells Alfred he can't see Klara's face at first because she is sitting behind a coat rack. When Alfred joins Klara inside, she's sitting at the far end of the window with the coat rack well behind her. See more »

Quotes

Klara Novak (Miss Novak): All my knowledge came from books, and I'd just finished a novel about a glamorous French actress from the Comedie Francaise. That's the theater in France. When she wanted to arouse a man's interest, she treated him like a dog.
Alfred Kralik: Yes, well, you treated me like a dog.
Klara Novak (Miss Novak): Yes, but instead of licking my hand, you barked.
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

Romantic comedy perfection
3 May 2004 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Lubitsch's charming masterpiece, so often imitated and re-adapted since it appeared in 1940, is one of the very few films that can be called perfect. There is not a shot, a line, a performance, or a moment in THE SHOP AROUND THE CORNER that isn't exactly right. Everything fits together and runs like a Swiss watch.

With its flawless screenplay and cast, it's the most subtle, discreet, and understated of romantic comedies. What other film manages to be so warm-hearted yet so rigorously unsentimental? What other movie story is so exquisitely planned and executed?

Margaret Sullaven isn't sexy, it's true, but this isn't a film about sex. It's about love in the human heart and mind. A sexier actress would have thrown things out-of-balance. As always, Lubitsch knew exactly what he was doing. Just as he knew ace comedian Frank Morgan (the WIZARD OF OZ's Wizard) had hidden depth, which this film so beautifully reveals.

They don't make them like this anymore -- they didn't make them like this back then, either. SHOP was under-rated in 1940, when it appeared. It's simply too subtle, too intelligent and disciplined for the average viewer or critic.

Nothing overdone or exaggerated. Nothing out-of-place. If Mozart had been a filmmaker, he would have made this one. Warm, charming, adult, quiet, intelligent, knowing, touching ... perfection.


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