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The Shop Around the Corner
Quiet, Unassuming, Perfect
Two employees at a gift shop can barely stand one another, without realising that they are falling in love through the post as each other's anonymous pen pal.
So perfectly constructed it can be easy to initially overlook its feeling of spontaneity and human interaction. Even a suicide attempt, framed indirectly by the pop of a light bulb, plays less as black comedy than an impossibly optimistic show of human empathy and interdependence. That its revelation of lovers' identities to each other occurs after all the bright lights have been turned off around them seems so fitting for a film that subtly inverts everything you expect while producing a paragon of generic entertainment.
Decades Project: 3/4 of the 40's
"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."
Growing up in the 90's, there were a lot of bad rom-coms in my house, and while they all became increasingly grating over time, there was always something effective about You've Got Mail. Don't get me wrong, it's not a great movie, but there are these moments where Tom Hanks knows that his business rival Meg Ryan is also his secret romantic pen pal which build tension in an almost Hitchcockian way (show…
Jimmy Stewart is perfect.
Film #5 of Project 40
”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.”
A sweet and light-hearted romantic comedy from Ernst Lubitsch set in the pre-war Budapest. Lubitsch’s films are never complicated, the premise is simple, the milestones are quite predictable and after watching 10 minutes of the film it’s not hard to guess what’s going to happen in the end. Jaw-dropping surprises and twists are not part of Lubitsch’s universe, he only wants to use the magic of cinema to narrate a cheerful and riveting little…
I feel like one of those old kooks, a man of the times from the old era of doing things in wanting to use the cliched phrase to begin this review:
"They don't make em' like they use to!"
Not because I am a man, but I have never been a big fan of the Romantic-Comedy sub genre or Rom-com's as they are now popular abbreviated into. The reason for this is about 90% of the ones you see today are nothing more than formulamatic trash that pump out the same cliche and predictable stories. Their only draw to bring in audiences is to always interchange the actors (more like celebrities as the more famous the better, talent not always…
I think I heard the name "Mr. Matuschek" one too many times. It's been running on a loop in my brain ever since, and not in a good way. Nevertheless, I did enjoy the film a great deal, as everything else really worked.
Alfred Kralik (James Stewart) and Klara Novak (Margaret Sullavan) work together at Matuschek & Co. gift shop. Alfred is Matuschek's most long-standing employee at 9+ years. Klara is hired under his supervision when she sold, at high cost, a musical cigarette box disguised as a candy box to a larger woman, with the music being a warning not to eat so much. As the days pass, the two begin to loathe one another at work - while at…
Very dark but still romantic tale of star-crossed lovers who start of enemies! Jimmy Stewart is a bit darker than his usual and Frank Morgan leaves his Mark!
A beautiful, heartwarming romantic comedy and a shining example of studio system filmmaking during cinema's golden era.
What number was that mailbox again?
Film # 20 of the "Scavenger Hunt # 10" Challenge
Task # 14: A movie with a more popular remake
“The Shop Around the Corner” was the inspiration for the Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks movie “You’ve Got Mail”, where Ryan’s character works in a store called The Shop Around the Corner. Here it’s modernized and the two lead characters correspond through e-mail. In “The Shop Around the Corner” they send each other good old snail mail.
Klara and Alfred work in a shop in Budapest. They bicker a lot, can’t really stand each other. But they don’t know that they are pen pals.
The movie has some sharp dialogues and great characters. Like the grumpy store owner and one of the employees that runs away every time the boss asks someone for his honest opinion. Almost the entire film is set in the store. James Stewart is charming as ever and it’s a pretty fun film classic.
If you've seen In The Good Old Summertime or You've Got Mail then you've basically seen this movie. They share similar plots especially between this film and In The Good Old Summertime, these two share the same/similar lines and could be played almost side by side with only a few differences. I personally prefer this one over In The Good Old Summertime. Whereas In The Good Old Summertime is your typical love story, Judy Garland, musical; The Shop Around the Corner is an overall better film. Jimmy Stewart and Margaret Sullavan are an excellent pairing and do very well with the clever, dry wit humor of the script. In addition this film takes itself more seriously instead of trying to just be funny. Overall: great script and great cast/performances. And of course: James Stewart
Film #18 Scavenger Hunt 10
Task #14 Movie With A More Popular Remake
I had no idea You've Got Mail was a remake. You've Got Mail was definitely cute and how can anyone not like Tom Hanks, but I think this was my favorite. I have a bit of a man crush on James Stewart...he was just so debonair and smooth. I thought everyone pulled their roles off with ease. I liked just about everything in this movie. I don't think I had ever seen Margaret Sullivan in anything before, and I really liked her here.
The Shop Around the Corner is a damn fine movie. Helmed by Ernst Lubitsch (To Be Or Not to Be) this film is just a joy to watch. It's a classic from 1940, a year in which film was at a mountain top of excellence. The entire acting ensemble here is fantastic with high praise to Frank Morgan as the owner of the shop.
Shop Around the Corner + Philadelphia Story + It's A Wonderful Life = the holy trifect of perfect Jimmy Stewart performances.
I could write a long review on why this was so bad, but to keep things short:
Terrible pacing so there was no flow to the story, lack of real emotional connection that made sense between the characters, the "romance" was forced because of the lack of connection and build up of positive emotion, and NO MUSIC???
Why did this film get remade. I don't understand.
Combined the average ratings (Critic's & Users) from IMDb, Rotten Tomatoes, Metacritic and Letterboxd, and then weighted and tweaked the results…
This list is the Letterboxd version of The Oxford History of World Cinema.
The book celebrates and chronicles over one…