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The Shop Around the Corner

4.7 out of 5 stars 303 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

James Stewart, Margaret Sullavan. Feuding shop clerks in a Budapest store fall in love while corresponding as anonymous pen pals in this charming romantic comedy. 1940/b&w/100 min/NR/fullscreen.

Special Features

  • "A New Romance of Celluloid" documentary
  • "The Miracle of Sound"
  • Theatrical trailers for The Shop Around the Corner, In the Good Old Summertime, and You've Got Mail
  • "A Great Story Is Worth Retelling" production notes

Product Details

  • Actors: Margaret Sullavan, James Stewart, Frank Morgan, Joseph Schildkraut, Sara Haden
  • Directors: Ernst Lubitsch
  • Writers: Ben Hecht, Miklós László, Samson Raphaelson
  • Producers: Ernst Lubitsch
  • Format: Black & White, Closed-captioned, Full Screen, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono), French (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish, French
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    Not Rated
  • Studio: Warner Home Video
  • DVD Release Date: October 1, 2002
  • Run Time: 99 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (303 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00006FDCV
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #21,061 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Shop Around the Corner" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Leonard L. Wilson on October 17, 1999
Format: VHS Tape Verified Purchase
This is my all-time favorite romantic comedy (and I am a veteran film fan). YOU'VE GOT MAIL is OK, but the modern film makers had to upgrade Hanks' character to make him rich and threw in unnecessary sexual complications for both characters, thereby detracting from the main plot. IN THE GOOD OLD SUMMERTIME, the Judy Garland musical version of the same plot, has the acrimony between the two main characters so strong that it is completely unbelievable when they suddenly fall in love. Only this movie has the perfect touch throughout. The makers of the stage musical, SHE LOVES ME, wisely stuck with the SHOP AROUND THE CORNER plot and produced a most delightful show.Stewart and Sullavan make a superb team, with just the right balance in their developing relationship to make the ending not only possible, but even inevitable. The supporting cast is nearly perfect, especially the always excellent Frank Morgan. Felix Bressart, as Pirovich, and Joseph Schildkraut, as the arrogant but slippery villain, are a delight to watch.Don't just rent this movie--buy it! You will want to watch it again and again. And each time will seem as fresh as the first, because there isn't a false note in the whole film.
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Format: VHS Tape
This is a delightful vintage movie that has had several remakes, the most recent being "You've Got Mail" with Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan. Having seen both versions, this 1940 film has got it beat. Beautifully directed by Ernst Lubitsch, this is a charming, romantic comedy that sets the standard for this genre of film.
The premise of the film is simple. In Budapest, Hungary, a young woman advertises for a pen pal, with the proviso that each are to remain anonymous. A young man responds to her ad, and they begin corresponding and fall in love through the mail. Unbeknownst to them, these two amorous correspondents, Alfred Kralik (James Stewart) and Klara Novak (Margaret Sullavan) are co-workers in a leather goods shop owned by Hugo Matuschek (Frank Morgan of Wizard of Oz fame). Unfortunately, they do not appear to get along, and the words fly fast and furious between them at times.
There is also a strong sub-plot in this film, involving the cuckolding of Mr. Matuschek by his wife of twenty two years. It is a sub-plot that causes a greatly anguished Mr. Matuschek to turn on an employee whom he holds most dear. This sets in to motion a sequence of interconnecting events and revelations that work beautifully, setting the film for its final resolution between the two main protagonists, Kralik and Novak.
James Stewart gives a terrific performance as Kralik, the working stiff who is just looking for the right girl and finds her where he least expected. Stewart always shines when playing the classic Everyman. Margaret Sullavan, as Novak, gives a pert and sassy performance that belies her longing for romance in her life and for her knight in shining armor. Her sharp tongued banter with Kralik disguises an attraction that even she does not fully understand.
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Format: DVD
"The Shop Around the Corner" is the first of three films based on the same story line. (The others are "In the Good Old Summertime," starring Judy Garland and Van Johnson, and "You've Got Mail," starring Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks.) This original version is, by far, the best of the three.
While the acting abilities of James Stewart and Margaret Sullivan are legendary, it's the supporting cast that truly carries this film. Frank Morgan (perhaps best known for his role as the Wizard of OZ) is marvelous as Mr. Matuschek, the shop owner. Sara Hayden, Felix Bressart, and Joseph Schildkraut round out the principle supporting cast and all turn in wonderful performances.
If you're a fan of James Stewart or Margaret Sullivan you must see this film. If you love romantic comedies, this is one of the best. And if you just want to see a thoroughly enjoyable movie, watch this one and you won't be disappointed.
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By A Customer on January 14, 2000
Format: VHS Tape
"The Shop Around the Corner" is one of the best Jimmy Stewart movies out there. He and Margaret Sullavan are excellent as Alfred and Klara, two shopworkers who, unbeknownst to them, are falling in love as pen-pals. The supporting characters in the movie such as Mr. Matuscheck, Pepi, and my favorite, Mr. Pirovitch, keep the storyline amusing and witty at all times. Even though I like Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks, "You've Got Mail" doesn't even compare to the quality of it's predecessor. "The Shop Around the Corner" creates an atmosphere in which Alfred and Klara don't really hate each other, but more mildly annoy each other. In "You've Got Mail", Ryan and Hanks give the impression of having no respect for each other. "The Shop Around the Corner" at least makes the ending believeable and even bound to happen, while "You've Got Mail" makes it seem like it wouldn't really work out. In "You've Got Mail", they made Hanks really rich and her not so rich, and they didn't even work together. He puts her out of the business her mom had founded; they were written as competitors and not co-workers, which makes the ending very unlikely because of the obvious immediate dislike they took for each other, or at least Ryan for Hanks. This classic is one that never gets old; you will never get tired of the storyline or the characters.
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