Today our own Jeannie Watt talks about a wonderful 1940s Christmas comedy, The Shop Around the Corner.
I love Christmas movies, especially when they have a nice romance involved. Miracle on 34th Street, Christmas in Connecticut, White Christmas…*sigh*
My latest Christmas movie find is a gem of a story about two people who can’t stand each other, but are actually falling in love via correspondence. If it sounds a lot like You’ve Got Mail, that’s because this movie is You’ve Got Mail’s charming predecessor, The Shop Around the Corner.
The Shop Around the Corner is a 1940 comedy starring Margaret Sullavan—Klara—and Jimmy Stewart—Alfred—as two employees of a Budapest gift shop who rub each other the wrong way. The shop’s owner Mr. Matuschek, values both of them as employees, although Alfred has been with him longer and is the top salesman. Klara is spunky and excellent with customers. Alfred and Klara are not good with each other.
Alfred, who is constantly annoyed by Klara, is about to meet his mystery correspondent for the first time, and if all goes well, he plans to propose. He is very happy that the woman he’s writing to is cultured and sophisticated—the antithesis of Klara. Klara is quite happy that the man she’s writing to is nothing like Alfred…I think you have the picture.
There’s subplot involving the store owner, his suspicions about his wife having a lover that interweaves with the ongoing hopes of Klara and Alfred for an HEA with their mystery correspondents.
With a short, sassy, character driven film such as this, it’s hard to write a synopsis that does justice to the story, so I’ll just say:
1) I watched the movie by accident and ordered the DVD as soon as possible.
2) My daughter watched the movie with me and orderd the DVD as soon as possible.
3) This film is listed at #28 in the American Film Industry’s 100 Years…100 Passions—a list of the top 100 film love stories.
4) It has Jimmy Stewart. I adore Jimmy Stewart.
If you’re in the market for a sparkling example of 1940’s comedy, with two wonderful stars, I highly recommend The Shop Around the Corner.