“The Shop Around the Corner” (1940)

Thanks to Minneapolis’ Oak Street Cinema, which used to show it each holiday, The Shop Around the Corner became a favorite holiday movie for me. It’s a sharp romantic comedy starring Jimmy Stewart and Margaret Sullavan, directed by Ernst Lubitsch, who claimed it was the best movie he ever made. It’s infused with hallmarks of his style, such as sophistication, style, and sexy (but not sexual) humor–these were part of what became known as “the Lubitsch touch.”

Stewart and Sullavan are bickering co-workers at a small shop in Budapest. Each is in love with the idea of love, and so is blind to it when it actually appears. Stewart is cute and charming, and the movie builds to a conclusion I couldn’t help but smile at. This movie lifts the spirits. See it if you haven’t, yet.

Later remade as You’ve Got Mail, which I’ve deliberately left unseen. Why remake something so fabulous?

3 Responses to ““The Shop Around the Corner” (1940)”

  1. thalia Says:

    I’ve seen ‘you’ve got mail’ a couple of times. You have to not think of it as a remake, then it’s fine - the story is really pretty different, but it’s also really the poorest of the Meg Ryan romcoms, so I don’t think you are missing anything.

  2. gretchen Says:

    Good call — You’ve Got Mail is a very bad movie, and the resolution of the bookstore plot is just like a knife twist in the gut for those of us who love bookstores. There are two moments of redemption, though — the first is the mention of the Betsy-Tacy books, which are all time favorites of mine, and the second is the gorgeous view of Riverside Park in the spring that closes the movie.

  3. Grampa Says:

    What about In the Good Old Summer Time, the musical remake with Judy Garland?