Director: Ernst Lubitsch
Original Release: 1940
Choice: My Wife's
My Overall Rating: 3 stars out of 5
The Shop Around the Corner is a quiet movie. In most films of that era, actors bellow their dialogue, projecting their voices in accordance with years of stage performance. The Shop Around the Corner is the rare film performed in an easy, conversational tone. As a result, the story atmosphere is quite intimate.
Most of the narrative focuses on the love story but there is a subplot at the store around Mr. Matuschek's marital troubles. My favorite scene comes late as Matuschek, suddenly alone on Christmas Eve, fishes for an invitation from each of his employees. Finally, the newly hired errand boy, on his own in the big city, is tickled pink to be treated to dinner by his boss - a wonderfully sweet exchange.
The Shop Around the Corner is a charming film - good acting, clever though unspectacular dialogue, rich visual texture. The love story is believable, though more from Kralik's side than Klara's. The movie is categorized as romantic comedy. However, the story gets pretty heavy at times. Comic relief usually comes via Pepi, the ambitious gofer played by William Tracy.