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The Shop Around the Corner (1940)

Passed  |   |  Comedy, Drama, Romance  |  12 January 1940 (USA)
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Ratings: 8.1/10 from 18,599 users  
Reviews: 129 user | 57 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.



(screenplay), (based on a play by) (as Nikolaus Laszlo) , 1 more credit »
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Complete credited cast:
Sara Haden ...
Felix Bressart ...
William Tracy ...
Sarah Edwards ...
Woman Customer
Charles Smith ...


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


Comedy | Drama | Romance


Passed | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

12 January 1940 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Rendez-vous  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


According to Bright Lights Film Journal website, When Kralik mentions "You read Zola's Madame Bovary," Klara immediately corrects him: "Madame Bovary is not by Zola," she snipes. The joke here is that though Klara knows who wrote Madame Bovary, she doesn't understand that she herself is living exclusively in Emma Bovary's world of impossible ideals. See more »


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 »


Pirovitch: [spying through the café window] There is a cup of coffee on the table. She's taking a piece of cake. Kralik, she's dunking!
See more »


Referenced in I've Loved You So Long (2008) See more »


Ochi Tchornya (Dark Eyes)
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

Oozes With Charm
14 November 2005 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

The cast really helps make this a pleasant surprise and a cut above the normal man-vs.-woman-argue-all-the-time-but-wind up-in love-type of Hollywood screwball romance/comedy.

I usually don't go for those type of films and that tiresome storyline but this one was refreshing, fun to watch, and oozes with charm.

Jimmy Stewart and Margaret Sullavan play off each other well and make a very handsome couple. The supporting cast is outstanding - from the always-likable Felix Bressart to the villain Joseph Schildkraut.

Frank Morgan also plays one of the most interesting characters I've ever seen him do in his career. He takes the film and turns it around into a whole different mood for awhile when something dramatic happens to him. That "twist" is another reason this film rises above others of its kind.

Once again, when a film has a good mix of categories, it usually succeeds. This is a great example of that. In this movie, it's romance, comedy and drama and it's well done. I'll take this over the re-make "You've Got Mail," any day. No comparison.

48 of 55 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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