Sonntag, 4. Dezember 2011
Let's watch.. ..The Shop around the Corner (1940)
You should know this: I am an avid Ernst Lubitsch fan.
There is at least one film of his I watch every year around christmas time:
THE SHOP AROUND THE CORNER (1940)
Budapest, 1930s: Alfred Kralik (James Stewart) works as a clerk in the shop of Hugo Matuschek (Frank Morgan). He writes letters to a young lady. Around christmas time he finds out that she is his new colleague Klara Novak (Margaret Sullavan) who doesn't know who her penfriend is either. He can't stand her - apparently a mutual feeling - till now..
~ Dear friends? James Stewart and Margaret Sullavan. ~
I don't know if this film is a so called "christmas classic" - as I said: I watch it every year around this time - and I love it. It is one of my favourite films. It is based on a play by Miklós László that it is based on a play is very obvious for most of the story is set in the shop - and the characters are few but quite well portrayed.
The additional cast is marvellous: We have so many of my favourites - who are just wonderful - no matter if comedy or tragedy they were able to do it - very versatile actors indeed: Frank Morgan, Felix Bressart, Joseph Schildkraut, Charles Smith, William Tracy, Inez Courtney and Sara Haden.
Actually I love the whole cast! Margaret Sullavan is also a wonderful actress - who sadly would die very young (I will spare you more facts about her.. this is after all not meant to turn out a Miss Sullavan fan post..) - and I think I don't have to say a word about James Stewart at all..
THis film is not only a comedy - it also has some very grave parts:
Hugo Matuschek suspects his wife (who never appears on screen..) to be unfaithful, the clerks are afraid to loose their jobs - so much that they are careful what they say about their boss when their co-workers are around, there is even an attempted suicide (a very well done scene just by the way..) - all that hardly topics for light comedies. Maybe I might call this film a "melo-comedy"..
~ maybe my favourite "couple" in this film: Frank Morgan and Charles Smith. ~
There are at least two remakes - if you can call them remakes - for as I said originally it was a play:
The first one is IN THE GOOD OLD SUMMERTIME (1949) with Judy Garland and Van Johnson in the lead - and an amazing additional cast: Buster Keaton, Spring Byington, S.Z. Sakall and Clinton Sundberg. - Even Charles Smith appears here again. It also features little Liza Minnelli.. It has only a small scene set on christmas - and it is moved to a music shop in Chicago around 1900.. It's actually more of a blitheful musical - I love that one, too..
The newest version might be YOU'VE GOT MAIL (1998) - which I find horrible - though it is set in bookshops in New York..
I just prefer the classic versions..
And finally I'd like to say:
Thank you, who you work in shops around all the corners of the world for all your patience during our christmas shopping sessions!
Thank you - and I hope that some of your customers know this film - and give you a little smile or a nice word now and then!
~ getting ready for christmas business:
Inez Courtney, James Stewart, William Tracy, Sara Haden and Felix Bressart. ~
Hope you're enjoying the show!
Yours (very well and truly