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The Shop Around the Corner (1940)

Passed | | Comedy, Drama, Romance | 12 January 1940 (USA)
4:14 | Trailer

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Two employees at a gift shop can barely stand each other, without realizing that they are falling in love through the post as each other's anonymous pen pal.



(screenplay), (based on a play by) (as Nikolaus Laszlo)
1 win. See more awards »



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Complete credited cast:
William Tracy ...
Sarah Edwards ...
Woman Customer


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 get along. 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 on 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 After being let go 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 correspondent and does not pay much attention to Alfred. Alfred works out a plan to reveal himself to Klara's who ... Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

love | gift | salesman | pen pal | hungary | See All (109) »


Comedy | Drama | Romance


Passed | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

12 January 1940 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Shopworn Angel  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Ernst Lubitsch purchased the rights to the play for approximately $7,500. See more »


Before they leave the store room Alfred takes 5 boxes and Klara 4. In the next cut, suddenly Klara carries 5 boxes and Alfred has 4. See more »


Alfred Kralik: Pirovitch, did you ever get a bonus?
Pirovitch: Yes, once.
Alfred Kralik: Yeah. The boss hands you the envelope. You wonder how much is in it, and you don't want to open it. As long as the envelope's closed, you're a millionaire.
See more »


Version of In the Good Old Summertime (1949) See more »


Ochi Tchornya (Dark Eyes)
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

Pen pals in Budapest
19 December 2004 | by (New York) – See all my reviews

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?

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