Pemberley (Lyme Park, Cheshire)

Pemberley (Lyme Park, Cheshire)
Oh, to be in England...

Sunday, December 9, 2012

The Shop Around The Corner

Somewhere in the back of my mind, I knew that You've Got Mail was a modern remake of The Shop Around The Corner, but I had never seen the original. Now having seen the original I can certainly see why Nora Ephron wanted to rework it. If you have never seen it, do yourself a favour and see where she got her inspiration. Ernst Lubitch directed this adaptation of a Hungarian play by Miklós László called Parfumerie. He left it set in Budapest which in the beginning I thought was very odd, but it is a nice touch actually.

Let me admit at the outset that I have always had a bit of a crush on James Stewart. OK, more than a bit! How can you not adore this gentlemanly character who has just a bit of an edge to him? And can he do sexual tension or what (telephone scene from It's a Wonderful Life)?

So this is now my new fave James Stewart holiday film. I think I need to see it again now actually. And may I say, kudos to TCM for releasing it again in a package with 3 other classics. I have only watched this one and It Happened on 5th Avenue, and I am already thrilled. I still have to watch Christmas in Conneticut and A Christmas Carol with Reginald Owen over the holidays.

Hmm. What else can I say to entice you to watch this over the holidays. Oh, the scene in the coffee shop is adorable and almost exactly copied by Nora Ephron in You've Got Mail. Except that she is holding is Anna Karenina and a carnation instead of Pride and Prejudice and a rose!

(Outside the cafe window where Pirovitch is trying to spot and see Kralik's 'mystery girl')

Pirovitch: She has a cup of coffee. and a piece of cake and..(shocked) KRALIK, SHE'S DUNKING!!
Kralik: Well, why shouldn't she dunk?
Pirovitch: All right, all right.


 Pirovitch: If you don't like Miss Novak I can tell you right now, you're not going to like this girl!

Alfred Kralik: [asking Pirovitch about cost of living for married couple] Suppose a fellow gets an apartment with three rooms. Dining room, bedroom, living room.
Pirovitch: What do you need three rooms for? You live in the bedroom.
Alfred Kralik: Where do you eat?
Pirovitch: In the kitchen. You get a nice big kitchen.
Alfred Kralik: Where do you entertain?
Pirovitch: Entertain? What are you, an ambassador? Who do you want to entertain? Listen listen, if someone is really your friend, he comes after dinner. 

Are you tall? Are you short?
Are your eyes blue? Are they brown?
Don't tell me.
What does it matter, so long as our minds meet?


So, this is my recommendation to brighten up your holidays this year. And watch for Pepi the hilarious errand boy, and Frank Morgan (The Great and Powerful Wizard of Oz) as the shop owner Mr. Matuschek. And you'll be whistling the tune Ochi Tchornya for days!


  1. I have never seen this film either. Come and check out my blog to see my Christmas films!

  2. I've seen this film recently. I loved it! Jimmy Stewart is one of my favorite actors.

  3. Oh, I absolutely love this film. I wouldn't say more than "You've Got Mail" but that's mainly because Mail incorporates a love of books into the story that I find irresistible. But this was still definitely cute and entertaining to watch.
    By the way, have you ever seen "In the Good Old Summertime"? It's a musical remake of "The Shop Around the Corner" with Judy Garland in it, and she and the hero (Van Johnson, who is delicious in the trailers) work in a music story instead. I haven't seen it myself but I want to eventually. Complete the collection I guess :D I just love this story so much. You've made me want to watch it immediately.

  4. Spot on again Jenny! I think this may have been the first Jimmy Steward film I ever saw when I was a teen, and I have been smitten ever since. I recognized it immediately when I watched You've got mail, and love that adaption almost as much.

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  6. ps...I watched a lot of old movies at a young age, on a wonderful daily program on TVO called Magic Shadows. It was hosted by Elwy Yost, who ran a full length black and white movie in half hour installments over the course of 5 week days. I remember that half hour flying by, and not being able to wait for 6 pm, the next day, for the next installment of "For Whom the Bell Tolls," or "Les Miserables" (with Frederick March), or "Death takes a holiday," etc...etc.. to name a few.




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