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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 18,445 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.

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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 Screen Guild Theater" broadcast a 30 minute radio adaptation of the movie on September 29, 1940 with Margaret Sullavan, James Stewart and Frank Morgan reprising their film roles. See more »

Goofs

Before they leave the store room Alfred takes 5 boxes and Klara 4. In the next cut, suddenly Klara carries 5 boxes and Alfred has 4. See more »

Quotes

Alfred Kralik: [asking Pirovitch about cost of living for married couple] Suppose a fellow gets an apartment with three rooms. Dining room, bedroom, living room.
Pirovitch: What do you need three rooms for? You live in the bedroom.
Alfred Kralik: Where do you eat?
Pirovitch: In the kitchen. You get a nice big kitchen.
Alfred Kralik: Where do you entertain?
Pirovitch: Entertain? What are you, an embassador? Who do you want to entertain? Listen listen, if someone is really your friend, he comes after dinner.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in A Happy Event (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

It's a wonderful world.
16 March 2002 | by See all my reviews

The Stewart /Sullavan relationship and the warmth which flows on the screen are only one bend in a most extraordinary river.Although "extraordinary" is not the right word,because everything here is ordinary,no hero,no spectacular events and however,something happens.

The shop is a life microcosm,with its little quiet joys and its bitter disappointments,but,Lubitsch,here very close to Capra ,proves that virtuous gents like Stewart character can triumph in the end;and the final scene of the lovers is one of the wittier in the whole cinema.We seem to know all the clerks in the shop as if we've known them for years,and their everyday life is depicted with love and affection.The yuletide spirit is captured with a lot of emotion-check the scene between the boss and his new delivery boy Rudi and predates "it's a wonderful life" by five years.

The main topic is the fear of solitude.The shop is the place where everyone can feel he is part of a family,a family sometimes truer than the real one (see the boss's wife).And the director wants to make sure that ,when they leave their work on Xmas night,everyone is not on his own.A masterful conclusion.

The remake "you've got mail" featuring Ryan and Hanks is politically correct to a fault.All Lubitsch's movie charm and poetry seem to have been swallowed by the computers.


61 of 67 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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