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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 18,478 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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Title: The Shop Around the Corner (1940)

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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
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Did You Know?

Trivia

At the film's premiere at Radio City Music Hall, Ernst Lubitsch remarked, "I have known just such a little shop in Budapest...The feeling between the boss and those who work for him is pretty much the same the world over, it seems to me. Everyone is afraid of losing his job and everyone knows how little human worries can affect his job. If the boss has a touch of dyspepsia, better be careful not to step on his toes; when things have gone well with him, the whole staff reflects his good humor." 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

[Alfred Kralik has just been called into his supervisor's office]
Alfred Kralik: Yes, Mr. Matuschek
Hugo Matuschek: Eh, close the door. Kralik, why did you put me in that situation, in front of the whole shop?
Alfred Kralik: Well, I'm very sorry, sir... but it was not my fault.
Hugo Matuschek: Well whose fault was it? Mine?
Alfred Kralik: Well... yes.
See more »

Connections

Featured in 100 Years of Comedy (1997) 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

 
Quiet, Unassuming, Perfect
3 May 2002 | by (Forest Ranch, CA) – See all my reviews

Much about love & life can be learned from watching the folks at THE SHOP AROUND THE CORNER.

Ernst Lubitsch had another quiet triumph added to his credit with this lovely film. With sparkling dialogue (courtesy of his longtime collaborator Samson Raphaelson) and wonderful performances from a cast of abundantly talented performers, he created a truly memorable movie. Always believing in playing up to the intelligence of his viewers, and favoring sophistication over slapstick, the director concocted a scintillating cinematic repast seasoned with that elusive, enigmatic quality known as the ‘Lubitsch touch.'

Although the story is set in Budapest (and there is a jumble of accents among the players) this is of no consequence. The beautiful simplicity of the plot is that any great American city or small town could easily be the locus for the action.

Jimmy Stewart & Margaret Sullavan are wonderful as the clerks in love with romance and then with each other - without knowing it. Their dialogue - so adeptly handled as to seem utterly natural - perfectly conveys their confusion & quiet desperation as they seek for soul mates. Theirs is one of the classic love stories of the cinema.

Cherubic Frank Morgan has a more serious role than usual, that of a man whose transient importance in his little world is shattered when he finds himself to be a cuckold. An accomplished scene stealer, he allows no emotion to escape unvented. Additionally, Morgan provides the film with its most joyous few moments - near the end - when he determines that his store's newest employee, an impoverished youth, enjoys a memorable Christmas Eve.

Joseph Schildkraut adds another vivid depiction to his roster of screen portrayals, this time that of a toadying, sycophantic Lothario who thoroughly deserves the punishment eventually meted out to him. Gentle Felix Bressart has his finest film role as a family man who really can not afford to become involved in shop intrigues, yet remains a steadfast friend to Stewart.

Sara Haden graces the small role of a sales clerk. William Tracy is hilarious as the ambitious errand boy who takes advantage of unforeseen developments to leverage himself onto the sales force.

In tiny roles, Charles Halton plays a no-nonsense detective and Edwin Maxwell appears as a pompous doctor. Movie mavens will recognize Mary Carr & Mabel Colcord - both uncredited - in their single scene as Miss Sullavan's grandmother & aunt.


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