Director Billy Wilder salutes his idol, Ernst Lubitsch, with this comedy about a middle-aged playboy fascinated by the daughter of a private detective who has been hired to entrap him with ... See full summary »
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
When Klara is wrapping the wallet for her mystery boyfriend, Alfred comes into the room, and she stops to talk. However, when they both leave the room, she picks up the package and it's completely wrapped. See more »
[asking Pirovitch about cost of living for married couple]
Suppose a fellow gets an apartment with three rooms. Dining room, bedroom, living room.
What do you need three rooms for? You live in the bedroom.
Where do you eat?
In the kitchen. You get a nice big kitchen.
Where do you entertain?
Entertain? What are you, an embassador? Who do you want to entertain? Listen listen, if someone is really your friend, he comes after dinner.
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Lubitsch's charming masterpiece, so often imitated and re-adapted since it appeared in 1940, is one of the very few films that can be called perfect. There is not a shot, a line, a performance, or a moment in THE SHOP AROUND THE CORNER that isn't exactly right. Everything fits together and runs like a Swiss watch.
With its flawless screenplay and cast, it's the most subtle, discreet, and understated of romantic comedies. What other film manages to be so warm-hearted yet so rigorously unsentimental? What other movie story is so exquisitely planned and executed?
Margaret Sullaven isn't sexy, it's true, but this isn't a film about sex. It's about love in the human heart and mind. A sexier actress would have thrown things out-of-balance. As always, Lubitsch knew exactly what he was doing. Just as he knew ace comedian Frank Morgan (the WIZARD OF OZ's Wizard) had hidden depth, which this film so beautifully reveals.
They don't make them like this anymore -- they didn't make them like this back then, either. SHOP was under-rated in 1940, when it appeared. It's simply too subtle, too intelligent and disciplined for the average viewer or critic.
Nothing overdone or exaggerated. Nothing out-of-place. If Mozart had been a filmmaker, he would have made this one. Warm, charming, adult, quiet, intelligent, knowing, touching ... perfection.
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