Dir. Ernst Lubitsch. 1940, 99 mins. 35mm. With Margaret Sullavan, James Stewart, Frank Morgan, Joseph Schildkraut, Sara Haden. Ernst Lubitsch’s exquisitely wrought tale of two workplace lonelyhearts has the power to put all other romantic comedies to shame. James Stewart and Margaret Sullavan play contentious colleagues at Matuschek and Company, a Budapest store gearing up for Christmas. Each of them is falling in love with an unseen pen pal found via the personals page of the newspaper. Neither suspects that they might be falling for one another. An achingly perceptive sketch of singlehood and modern romance in the big city, a template for generations of workplace comedies, and a warm, deeply felt expression of holiday spirit, The Shop Around the Corner simply has it all.
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