I am currently on a Jimmy Stewart kick (for a bizarre project that I very much hope turns into something that I can talk about down the road, but it’s VERY early days yet) and today I watched the first movie on my research list, and I think the only Jimmy Stewart movie I’ve ever seen apart from It’s A Wonderful Life. It was The Shop Around the Corner, directed in 1940 by Ernst Lubitsch, starring Stewart and Margaret Sullavan as co-workers in a shop who hated each other but, unbeknownst to either of them, were anonymously corresponding with each other and falling madly in love.
And you know what? It was de – wait for it – lightful. Delightful!!
Here are some of Stewart and Sullavan’s scenes from early in the movie:
I suppose I was pre-disposed to like it since You’ve Got Mail is my second favourite romantic comedy of all time, and it’s a sort of remake of The Shop Around the Corner, but I was not expecting it to be so good!! It was funny and charming, and I was very surprised by how much I enjoyed watching it.
Stewart and Sullavan were the only actors I’ve heard of before, but everyone in it was great. My favourite was Felix Bressart as Pirovitch, Stewart’s best friend at the shop. The man was a hoot… he has this great moustache, and acts all quiet and obedient, but he is very clever and sly and a great co-conspirator when Stewart’s character finally gets wise to the situation. The scene where he convinces Sullavan to get Stewart a wallet instead of a cigarette box that Stewart abhors is particularly amusing.
The movie was even more enjoyable because I’ve been reading up on Stewart, and apparently in real life he was MADLY in love with Margaret Sullavan. I paid extra close attention when they were on screen together and either Stewart is a ridiculously good actor or he was seriously into her… or both, I suppose. He gazes at her adoringly through the entire movie, even when he’s trying to be angry… it’s great.
Anyway, if you are in the mood for a comedy, you should definitely watch The Shop Around the Corner… you’ll like it far more than you think you will, I promise. Plus it’s black and white!! What’s a better time than an old, black and white picture?