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Before How To Lose A Guy in Ten Days, before Legally Blonde, before When Harry Met Sally, Sleepless in Seattle and You’ve Got Mail – before all those, there was The Shop Around The Corner.
This is the essential romantic comedy. It has the meet cute, the eventual lovers who initially can’t stand each other, and the coworkers who function as best friends – all wrapped up in the nostalgic setting of a 1940’s black and white film and perfectly executed by the best actors of the day.
- Year: 1940
- Starring: Margaret Sullivan and James (Jimmy) Stewart
Synopsis from IMDB: Two employees at a gift shop can barely stand each other, without realizing that they are falling in love through the post as each other’s anonymous pen pal.
Why I Love It:
- This is the essential romantic comedy. Not only is it the basis for one of our generation’s most beloved rom coms (more about that below), the formula laid out in this film has been repeated many times since.
- The supporting cast is awesome. Each character has their moment of comedic genius – some more than others – but they all get their moment to shine. You’ll recognize Mr. Matuschek as the actor who famously played the Wizard of Oz, but even some of the more minor characters have a way of endearing themselves to you throughout the film.
- Being set in 1940’s Hungary, the movie doesn’t actually speak of the reality that their society was on the brink of complete collapse. The film is instead filled with a sweet sense of nostalgia that perfectly balances the comedy.
- This is such a quotable movie! It is filled with comedic and witty repartee from beginning to end.
It’s Worth Mentioning That:
- The Shop Around The Corner has two notable remakes: In The Good Old Summertime (1949), with Judy Garland and Van Johnson; and You’ve Got Mail (1998), with Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan! I personally don’t care for the musical 1949 version but am, of course, a huge fan of You’ve Got Mail.
- I’m a pretty big fan of Jimmy Stewart – but I like this film much, much better than It’s A Wonderful Life. It’s not a Christmas movie, but the story takes place in December and ends on Christmas Eve, so I usually save it to watch during the holidays.
Here is a little taste of the movie:
Where To Watch It:
You might even be able to find it for free on YouTube. Just search the movie title or “[movie title] full movie.”
If You Like This, You Also Might Enjoy:
Have you seen The Shop Around The Corner? If not, have I convinced you to give it a watch? I’m here to tell you that if you love old movies and you love You’ve Got Mail – you’re going to love this one!
This post is part of my Comfort Classics Series, where I review a classic film from my list of favorites.