Combustible Celluloid
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With: James Stewart, Margaret Sullavan, Frank Morgan, Joseph Schildkraut, Sara Haden, Felix Bressart, William tracy, Inez Courtney, Sarah Edwards, Edwin Maxwell, Charles Halton, Charles Smith
Written by: Samson Raphaelson, Ben Hecht (uncredited), based on a play by Miklos Laszlo
Directed by: Ernst Lubitsch
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Running Time: 99
Date: 01/12/1940

The Shop Around the Corner (1940)

4 Stars (out of 4)

Secret Santas

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

Ernst Lubitsch's masterpiece (remade in 1998 as You've Got Mail)takes place in a Hungarian shop during the Christmas holiday. Times aretough and the workers are intimidated by their stern boss Mr. Matuschek(Frank Morgan). So when Alfred Kralik (Jimmy Stewart) and Klara Novak(Margaret Sullavan) become secret pen-pals -- unbeknownst to each other-- they must deal with more than a few obstacles to find true love. Thismight be Lubitsch's gentlest work: sweetness mixed with a genuinesadness. Stewart and Sullavan are wonderful, and Warners' DVD presentsthem in a beautiful black-and-white transfer.

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