The Roth family lead a quiet life in a small village in the German Alps during the early 1930's. When the Nazi's come to power, the family is divided and Martin Brietner, a family friend is caught up in the turmoil.
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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
Soon after wrapping principal photography, Ernst Lubitsch talked to the New York Sun in January 1940. "It's not a big picture, just a quiet little story that seemed to have some charm. It didn't cost very much, for such a cast, under $500,000. It was made in twenty-eight days. I hope it has some charm." 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 »
This is a movie that gets better each time I see it. There are so many nuanced performances in this. William Tracey, as Pepi, is a delight, bringing sharp comic relief. Joseph Schildkraut as Vadas, is the only "villian" in the movie, and his oily charms are well used here. Frank Morgan, is delightful as the owner of the title shop, Mr. Matuschek, and his familiar manner is well used here. I especially liked the performance of Felix Bressart, as Pirovitch. Very believable in every facet of his role.
The two leads are equally accomplished, with Margaret Sullivan doing an outstanding job of portraying a slightly desperate, neurotic, yet charming and attractive woman.
This movie belongs to Jimmy Stewart though. The movie is presented from his point of view, with the action rotating around him. Mr. Stewart is more then up to the task of carrying the movie, with an amazing performance that uses a wide range of emotions. Just watch Stewart, when he is fired from his job, because of a misunderstanding. He is able to convey the shock, anger, fear and embarrassment that so traumatic an event causes, so perfectly. In my estimation, James Stewart is, without question, the greatest film actor in the history of the medium. There is no one else that has ever been captured on film that is able to so completely convey what he is feeling to an audience. At the time he made this movie, he still had most of his career ahead of him, yet he is completely the master of his craft. This is one of Jimmy Stewarts best movies, and also one of the sweetest, most enjoyable romantic comedies you will find. I greatly recommend this movie, especially for those that appreciate the work of Stewart.
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