A young man in love with a girl from a rich family finds his unorthodox plan to go on holiday for the early years of his life met with skepticism by everyone except for his fiancée's eccentric sister and long-suffering brother.
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
James Stewart was at the top of Ernst Lubitsch's list to play the simple Alfred Kralik because the actor was "the antithesis of the old-time matinee idol; he holds his public by his very lack of a handsome face or suave manner." See more »
When Kralik sets down his order book, we can see that "Matuschek & Co." has been embossed on it upside down. See more »
Klara Novak (Miss Novak):
All my knowledge came from books, and I'd just finished a novel about a glamorous French actress from the Comedie Francaise. That's the theater in France. When she wanted to arouse a man's interest, she treated him like a dog.
Yes, well, you treated me like a dog.
Klara Novak (Miss Novak):
Yes, but instead of licking my hand, you barked.
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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 »
Has been broadcast in a colorized version. See more »
Much about love & life can be learned from watching the folks at THE SHOP AROUND THE CORNER.
Ernst Lubitsch had another quiet triumph added to his credit with this lovely film. With sparkling dialogue (courtesy of his longtime collaborator Samson Raphaelson) and wonderful performances from a cast of abundantly talented performers, he created a truly memorable movie. Always believing in playing up to the intelligence of his viewers, and favoring sophistication over slapstick, the director concocted a scintillating cinematic repast seasoned with that elusive, enigmatic quality known as the Lubitsch touch.'
Although the story is set in Budapest (and there is a jumble of accents among the players) this is of no consequence. The beautiful simplicity of the plot is that any great American city or small town could easily be the locus for the action.
Jimmy Stewart & Margaret Sullavan are wonderful as the clerks in love with romance and then with each other - without knowing it. Their dialogue - so adeptly handled as to seem utterly natural - perfectly conveys their confusion & quiet desperation as they seek for soul mates. Theirs is one of the classic love stories of the cinema.
Cherubic Frank Morgan has a more serious role than usual, that of a man whose transient importance in his little world is shattered when he finds himself to be a cuckold. An accomplished scene stealer, he allows no emotion to escape unvented. Additionally, Morgan provides the film with its most joyous few moments - near the end - when he determines that his store's newest employee, an impoverished youth, enjoys a memorable Christmas Eve.
Joseph Schildkraut adds another vivid depiction to his roster of screen portrayals, this time that of a toadying, sycophantic Lothario who thoroughly deserves the punishment eventually meted out to him. Gentle Felix Bressart has his finest film role as a family man who really can not afford to become involved in shop intrigues, yet remains a steadfast friend to Stewart.
Sara Haden graces the small role of a sales clerk. William Tracy is hilarious as the ambitious errand boy who takes advantage of unforeseen developments to leverage himself onto the sales force.
In tiny roles, Charles Halton plays a no-nonsense detective and Edwin Maxwell appears as a pompous doctor. Movie mavens will recognize Mary Carr & Mabel Colcord - both uncredited - in their single scene as Miss Sullavan's grandmother & aunt.
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