Film Review: The Shop Around the Corner

Stewart and Sullavan sparking off each other

Jimmy Stewart was one of the most popular film stars of his generation but doesn’t get the plaudits his acting ability so richly deserved. Over a career which spanned five decades, he’s played numerous memorable characters across several genres. Starring in the likes of Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, Rear Window, Vertigo, The Philadelphia Story, It’s a Wonderful Life, The Glenn Miller Story and The Man from Laramie. Stewart is at his amusing and charming best in The Shop Around the Corner.

Matuschek and Company is gearing up to welcome shoppers in the run-up to Christmas. The staff at the Budapest emporium are excited and eager to please the irritable owner, Mr Matuschek (Frank Morgan). Especially Alfred Kralik (Stewart). His longest serving employee has become concerned about his boss’ recent coldness and has become distracted by an anonymous correspondence with a mystery woman. The arrival of a new shop assistant. Klara Novak (Margaret Sullavan), shakes up his ordered life even further.

The Shop Around the Corner is a delicious and delightful romantic comedy which is full of warmth and high spirits. This is largely down to the wonderful cast who deliver their lines with glee. There’s a special magnetism between Stewart and Sullavan, who both revel in the sharp writing and witty repartee. Ernst Lubitsch’s creation feels timeless. Making The Shop Around the Corner one of the nicest and most heart-warming festive films.

The Shop Around the Corner is in cinemas from 3 December.   

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