The Shop Around The Corner
Margaret Sullavan ■ James Stewart
In Budapest, Hungary, the Matuschek and Company store is owned by Mr. Hugo Matuschek and the bachelor Alfred Kralik is his best and most experienced salesman. When Klara Novak seeks a job position of saleswoman in the store, Matuschek hires her but Kralik and she do not tolerate each other. Meanwhile the lonely and dedicated Kralik has an unknown pen pal that he intends to propose very soon; however, he is fired without explanation by Matuschek in the night that he is going to meet his secret love. He goes to the bar where they have scheduled their meeting with his colleague Pirovitch and he surprisingly finds that Klara is his correspondent; however, ashamed with the unemployment, he does not disclose his identity to her. When Matuschek discovers that he had misjudged Kralik and committed a mistake, he hires him again for the position of manager. But Klara is still fascinated with her future fiancé and does not pay much attention to Kralik.
My brother and I are both Jimmy Stewart fans so it followed that eventually we would find this movie. We did. But my question is "why didn't we watch it sooner?!" It's true that I do tend to like his 1950's and 1960's movies better than his earlier ones, BUT, there are several exceptions and this is one.
There was nothing not to like about the black/white classic. It had romance, humor, and even drama. Quick-eyed viewers will also quickly catch on to some familiar scenes from a movie a few years later. A few years and a different continent later Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks would make a movie close enough to call a re-make, You've Got Mail.
If you are a Jimmy Stewart fan you definitely have to check this movie out. The Shop Around The Corner is a great old black/white classic and an enjoyable way to spend an hour-and-a-half or so.
Margaret Sullavan...Klara Novak
James Stewart...Alfred Kralik
Frank Morgan...Hugo Matuschek
Joseph Schildkraut...Ferencz Vadas
William Tracy...Pepi Katona
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios - 10202 W. Washington Blvd., Culver City, California, USA
Hugo Matuschek: [after Miss Novak sells one of the musical cigarette boxes] Well, Mr. Kralik, what do you think now?
Alfred Kralik: I think people who like to smoke candy and listen to cigarettes will love it.
Alfred Kralik: There might be a lot we don't know about each other. You know, people seldom go to the trouble of scratching the surface of things to find the inner truth.
Klara Novak (Miss Novak): Well I really wouldn't care to scratch your surface, Mr. Kralik, because I know exactly what I'd find. Instead of a heart, a hand-bag. Instead of a soul, a suitcase. And instead of an intellect, a cigarette lighter... which doesn't work.
Alfred Kralik: Pirovitch, did you ever get a bonus?
Pirovitch: Yes, once.
Alfred Kralik: Yeah. The boss hands you the envelope. You wonder how much is in it, and you don't want to open it. As long as the envelope's closed, you're a millionaire.
Klara Novak (Miss Novak): All my knowledge came from books, and I'd just finished a novel about a glamorous French actress from the Comedie Francaise. That's the theater in France. When she wanted to arouse a man's interest, she treated him like a dog.
Alfred Kralik: Yes, well, you treated me like a dog.
Klara Novak (Miss Novak): Yes, but instead of licking my hand, you barked.
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