Just before Christmas, Lee Leander is caught shoplifting. It is her third offense. She is prosecuted by John Sargent. He postpones the trial because it is hard to get a conviction at ... See full summary »
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 the wife of a client.
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
In the Book "Ernst Lubitsch: Laughter in Paradise", Ernst Lubitsch called this film "the best picture I ever made in my life." See more »
When Klara hurries out of the back room with her hat and coat she rushes past the rest of the employees as they enter the room in a group. Flora is the second-to-last person in the line and she is clearly inside the room before Klara runs past. In the next cut showing Klara hurrying through the store, Flora is the last person in line and is still in the doorway. See more »
Flora, take a letter. Ah... To whom it may concern. Mr. Vadas has been in the employ of Matuschek & Company for the last two years, during which he has been very efficient as a stool pigeon, a troublemaker, and a rat.
Now look here!
And if he doesn't clear out of here he's going to get a punch in the nose! Yours very truly, Alfred Kralik, Manager, Matuschek & Company.
See more »
I have lost count of just how many times I have seen this movie - I probably know the entire dialog backwards - yet I am drawn to it time and again.
Set in Hungary, a young Jimmy Stewart plays the eligible bachelor "Kralik" who becomes the secret admirer of Margaret Sullavan's innocent "Klara". Kralik secretly becomes Klara's pen-friend, and at work together Klara confides in Kralik about the content of his (Kralik's) letters. Clearly Kralik is besotted with Klara - but is unable to make his feelings known whilst he is in competition with the "pen-friend". Confused? Well you wont be - this story has a sweet, almost sugary ending - but we all know it is the ending we all want.
Other characters worth mentioning are Frank Morgan playing his usual role, this time as the shop's owner "Hugo Matuschek", Felix Bressart as "Pirovitch", Kralik's confidant. Joseph Schildkraut as the womanising arrogant "Vadas" - so well played that you cannot help but hate him right from the beginning.
Finally William Tracy who manages to endear himself to us all with his over-confident upstart of a shop junior "Pepi Katona".
Recently re-made as "You've Got Mail" starring Tom Hanks & Meg Ryan for me is not as good as the original - although I suspect younger audiences would disagree.
If this film is on in your area over Christmas, I suggest you pour yourself a nice glass of wine, put a log on the fire and have a box of Kleenex handy.
41 of 43 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?