A young man falls in love with a girl from a rich family. His unorthodox plan to go on holiday for the early years of his life is met with skepticism by everyone except for his fiancée's eccentric sister and long suffering brother.
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
The rights to the play on which this film was based were originally purchased by Ernst Lubitsch in 1938 with the intention to film it in an independent "share-the-profits" deal with Myron Selznick using his own company, Ernst Lubitsch Productions. Negotiations for the film's release were conducted with Paramount, RKO and United Artists, and Lubitsch planned to begin filming at the end of October 1938, but the deal failed to materialize, and when Lubitsch signed with MGM in January 1939, he included the story property in the deal with the proviso that he direct it. See more »
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 »
[leaving Mr.Matuschek's room in hospital]
Well Doctor, I would say it's a nervous breakdown. What do you think?
It appears to be an acute epileptoid manifestation and a pan phobic melancholiac with indication of a neurasthenia cordus.
Is that more expensive than a nervous breakdown?
See more »
Ernst Lubitsch's contribution to the American cinema is enormous. His legacy is an outstanding group of movies that will live forever, as is the case with "The Shop Around the Corner". This film has been remade into other less distinguished movies and a musical play, without the charm or elegance of Mr. Lubitsch's own, and definite version.
Margaret Sullavan and James Stewart worked in several films together. Their characters in this movie stand out as an example of how to be in a movie without almost appearing to be acting at all. Both stars are delightful as the pen pals that don't know of one another, but who fate had them working together in the same shop in Budapest.
The reason why these classic films worked so well is the amazing supporting casts the studios put together in picture after picture. In here, we have the wonderful Frank Morgan, playing the owner of the shop. Also, we see Joseph Schildkraut, Felix Bressart, William Tracy and Charles Smith, among others, doing impressive work in making us believe that yes, they are in Budapest.
That is why these films will live forever!
55 of 59 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?