Filled Under: Margarat Sullavan
Klara Novak: [In her letter to Alfred] : “Oh, my Dear Friend, my heart was trembling as I walked into the post office, and there you were, lying in Box 237. I took you out of your envelope and read you, read you right there.”– from The Shop Around The Corner.
I read somewhere once that if you don’t like old classic movies, then you’ve just never watched the right one. The Shop Around The Corner (MGM 1940), starring James Stewart and Margaret Sullavan, would qualify as one of the right one’s to watch. It is set around Christmas time in a Budapest store, where co-workers Klara Novak (Margaret Sullavan) and Alfred Kralik (James Stewart) have a great dislike for each other and are constantly bickering. What they don’t realize is that the more they fight, the more they fall in love as secret pen pals. The Shop Around The Corner also stars Frank Morgan as the shop owner Hugo Matuschek and a young William Tracy as the delivery boy Pepi Katona. A major sub-plot concerns the apparent infidelity of Mr. Matuschek’s wife and the effects it has on the shop’s co-workers relationships. The Shop Around The Corner is a movie well done with James Stewart and Margaret Sullavan well matched in their roles as Clara and Alfred, along with a great supporting cast.
In 1999, The Shop Around The Corner was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant”. It is ranked #28 on the AFI’s (American Film Institute) list of the 100 best love stories of all time. In 1949, a musical remake called, In The Good Ole Summertime, starring Judy Garland and Van Johnson was made. The Shop Around The Corner was also the basis for the 1998 film, You’ve Got Mail, starring Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan, in which Meg Ryan’s character owns a bookshop called “The Shop Around The Corner”.