"So Let it Be Written... So Let it Be Done"

The life and times of a real, down to earth, nice guy. A relocated New Englander formerly living somewhere north of Boston, but now soaking up the bright sun of southwestern central Florida (aka The Gulf Coast). Welcome to my blog world. Please leave it as clean as it was before you came. Thanks for visiting, BTW please leave a relevant comment so I know you were here. No blog spam, please. (c) MMV-MMXV Court Jester Productions & Bamford Communications

Saturday, July 28, 2007

SNMR 3.19: "The Shop Around the Corner"

The fourth and final film in SNMR's tribute to James Stewart is "The Shop Around The Corner" (1940, NR, 99 minutes, B&W), starring James Stewart, Margaret Sullavan, Frank Morgan and Joseph Schildkraut. The film was directed by Ernst Lubitsch.

As with most of Jimmy Stewart's films, I had never watched this movie until I rented it from the library recently. There still are many of his films that I'd love to see.

From the DVD's dust case:
Tell bickering Budapest gift-shop workers Alfred and Klara that they love each other and they might call you crazy. No lovers can compare to the romantic, secret pen pals each knows only as Dear Friend. What Alfred and Klara don't know, of course, is that they are each other's Dear Friend.
In the third of their four luminous screen pairings, Margaret Sullavan and James Stewart star in this valentine to love wrapped in the ribbon of director Ernst Lubitsch's trademark touch: wit instead of buffoonery, sentiment ahead of sentimentality, affection instead of attitude. As enchanting today as it was yesterday, The Shop Around The Corner was breezily updated to the electronic age when Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan clicked together in You've Got Mail. In any age, your patronage will be cheerfully rewarded.

From Martin and Porter's DVD & Video Guide 2007, p. 1019:
A charming period comedy dealing with the lives of two people who work in the same Budapest shop and become loving pen pals. MGM later remade this picture as In the Good Old Summertime, and it formed the basis of the stage musical.

This is a decent movie and very watchable. However, James Stewart will never be confused for anything but an American, and especially not a Hungarian. The only reason that I can see that would allow the film to be set in Budapest is that the writer is Hungarian and has a familiarity with that city. Otherwise it serves no other purpose and has absolutely no bearing on the film whatsoever. This film could easily have been set anywhere and more reasonably somewhere in the United States. I'm not sure if I like Margaret Sullavan or not, as I've not seen her in anything else. I will say that it was quite weird seeing Frank Morgan in another role apart from Professor Marvel and the Wizard (of Oz fame, which came out a mere 4 1/2 months earlier.) Still, the script is decent and carries on at a nice pace.

If you are a fan of Stewart, as I am, then you'll like this movie. I'll give it three and a half out of five stars.



At 30 July, 2007 18:54, Blogger Stephanie said...

I've never seen that movie, just the remake. You make me want to see it! I'm sure I can get it at the library, now that you mention it.

At 30 July, 2007 19:07, Blogger green said...

Steph: That's the idea - I want to get people to watch the movies I review, especially the older ones. You should also see last week's movie...


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