8.1/10
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144 user 63 critic

The Shop Around the Corner (1940)

Not Rated | | Comedy, Drama, Romance | 12 January 1940 (USA)
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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.

Director:

Ernst Lubitsch

Writers:

Samson Raphaelson (screenplay), Miklós László (based on a play by) (as Nikolaus Laszlo)
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3,190 ( 2,184)
2 wins. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Margaret Sullavan ... Klara Novak
James Stewart ... Alfred Kralik
Frank Morgan ... Hugo Matuschek
Joseph Schildkraut ... Ferencz Vadas
Sara Haden ... Flora
Felix Bressart ... Pirovitch
William Tracy ... Pepi Katona
Inez Courtney ... Ilona
Sarah Edwards Sarah Edwards ... Woman Customer
Edwin Maxwell ... Doctor
Charles Halton ... Detective
Charles Smith ... Rudy
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Storyline

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

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Romance

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

12 January 1940 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Shopworn Angel See more »

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Box Office

Gross USA:

$203,300
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM) See more »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The source material for this film, the play "Parfumerie" (also known as "Illatszertár"), was copyrighted 10 November 1936. See more »

Goofs

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 »

Quotes

Alfred Kralik: There might be a lot we don't know about each other. You know, people seldom go to the trouble of scratching the surface of things to find the inner truth.
Klara Novak (Miss Novak): Well I really wouldn't care to scratch your surface, Mr. Kralik, because I know exactly what I'd find. Instead of a heart, a hand-bag. Instead of a soul, a suitcase. And instead of an intellect, a cigarette lighter... which doesn't work.
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Crazy Credits

Opening Card: This is the story of Matuschek and Company - of Mr. Matuschek and the people who work for him. It is just around the corner from Andrassy Street - on Balta Strreet, in Budapest, Hungary. See more »

Alternate Versions

Has been broadcast in a colorized version. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Twice in a Lifetime: Matchmaker, Matchmaker (2000) See more »

Soundtracks

Ochi Tchornya (Dark Eyes)
(uncredited)
Traditional Russian folk song
Played by the cigarette case and later by the string quartet at the cafe
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User Reviews

 
A Christmas Delight
4 October 2004 | by iandcooperSee all my reviews

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.


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