The Shop Around The Corner

The Shop Around The Corner


Directed by Ernst Lubitsch

Starring James Stewart, Margaret Sullivan, Frank Morgan

Rating: ******

Jimmy Stewart meets Margaret Sullivan.

You may recognize the story
Of The Shop Around the Corner,
For it has been remade in recent times.
The 1998 Tom Hanks/Meg Ryan
Flick called You’ve Got Mail
Managed to win over the audience at the time,

But the original 1940 film
Starring Jimmy Stewart
Was a far, far better film in many ways.
The fantastic supporting actors
Complement the leads,
In performances we remember to this day.

The Wizard of Oz, Frank Morgan,
Plays the owner of a shop,
A small retail establishment downtown
In a smaller town in Europe,
In a different sort of setting.
It’s really not a place of great renown.

Jimmy and his wizard of a boss.

The story focuses
On his oldest employee,
Played by Jimmy Stewart rather well.
Most of the screen time
Take place in his shop,
So we get to know its workers fairly well.

There appears to be something not quite right
Between Jimmy and his boss,
But this something seems to lie beneath the surface.
We don’t find out till later
What is really going on,
When it finally rises far above the surface.

Margaret Sullivan
Plays a new sales clerk,
And is someone senior Jimmy can’t quite stand.
His transparent disdain
Brings out her hostility,
And they’re enemies in this far and distant land.

Though most of the workers’ lives
Are spent inside this shop,
Every one of them has a life of his own.
We slowly get to see this
As the story does unfold,
And the characters lay vulnerable as if prone.

Jimmy again, looking serious.

Jimmy Stewart has a pen pal,
An all-female pen pal,
And they send sweet, tender messages back and forth,
But unbeknownst to him,
His enemy is his pen pal,
A woman to whom every friendly word is forced.

The script is above average,
The performances superb,
And the tension keeps you hanging till the end.
I’m rating this a five,
For it has proved its worth,
As a drama that will entertain again.

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