"Matuschek's" is the gift shop around the corner. Among the staff is Alfred Kralik, a likeable young man who's in love with a woman he has never met and whose name he doesn't even know (their "romance" has been conducted through a post office box).
When Klara Novak comes to work as a clerk in the shop, the sparks begin to fly: she and Alfred can't stand each other. Of course, what neither knows is that Klara is the woman Alfred has been romancing through the mail!
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 ... Woman Customer
Edwin Maxwell ... Doctor
Charles Halton ... Detective
Charles Smith ... Rudy
Director: Ernst Lubitsch
Codecs: DivX 5 / MP3
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.
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!
# All scenes were reportedly shot in sequence.
# Ernst Lubitsch delayed the start of the movie until both James Stewart and Margaret Sullavan were available. In the mean time, he filmed Ninotchka (1939).
# In the Book "Ernst Lubitsch: Laughter in Paradise", Ernst Lubitsch called this film "the best picture I ever made in my life."