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Kita.Rhea

The Shop Around The Corner and Versions

8 posts in this topic

I am huge fan of lists and not just writing my own but seeing lists made by others. With that being said, I was watching a particular YouTube video from a channel that create list videos. The title of the list is "Top Ten Romantic Holiday Movies". Number 10 is how this thread began, the 1998 film 'You've Got Mail'. I have seen said film and I can say I liked it, but I always knew it was inspired by 'The Shop Around the Corner' (1940).

Most Classic Movie fans, especially those who love Romance know 'The Shop Around the Corner' had a musical younger sibling titled, 'In the Good Old Summertime'.  Both films I love, but it made me think which I liked more. In all honesty if I had to choose a film to watch and it was between these two, I would go for 'The Shop Around the Corner'. I love the acting done by Jimmy Stewart and Margaret Sullivan, I find the twist of the store owner and his wife interesting. I can say I love musicals and 'In the Good Old Summertime' has some good numbers and the story is beautiful and well there is Judy Garland. Yet, there is something about 'The Shop Around Corner' that feels more authentic than some slice of life classics. 

So, this brings me to my questions and conversation: Which is your favorite version of this story? Or are you like me where you love both and still go to one or the other. If you have seen 'You've Got Mail' do you feel it showed respect and love to source material while still standing as it own film? 

I would love to hear input. I hope everyone enjoys their Thanksgiving Week! 

~Kita Rhea~ 

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I prefer the first one, too. I think it's because the black-and-white cinematography gives it more of an "old world" charm, and these are not very modern characters. Plus I don't think Frank Morgan's performance can be bested, nor the performances of Margaret Sullavan & James Stewart. 

I'd also say the direction helps a lot. There's that famous Lubitsch touch which pervades each frame of the film, so even the lesser characters have these sublime moments. The whole thing is sublime from start to finish. 

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Not sure why jamesjazz is doing a "haha" on my loving post about THE SHOP AROUND THE CORNER. I guess he doesn't agree, doesn't like the film as much as some of us do. 

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16 hours ago, TopBilled said:

I prefer the first one, too. I think it's because the black-and-white cinematography gives it more of an "old world" charm, and these are not very modern characters. Plus I don't think Frank Morgan's performance can be bested, nor the performances of Margaret Sullavan & James Stewart. 

I'd also say the direction helps a lot. There's that famous Lubitsch touch which pervades each frame of the film, so even the lesser characters have these sublime moments. The whole thing is sublime from start to finish. 

First I hit the wrong 'button' (I wanted to like the post not laugh at it!). 

I also prefer the Lubitsch film but since the latter film is a musical I find them to be very different films with something to love in each (especially as noted,  Garland in the musical,  and the performances by the 3 main players in the Lubitsch film).

E.g. I really don't view My Fair Lady as a remake of Pygmalion,  but a much different adaptation of the Shaw play. 

The interplay between Sullavan and Stewart is magical and goes beyond the typical Lubitsch touch (due I assume to their off screen feelings for each other).

 

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46 minutes ago, jamesjazzguitar said:

First I hit the wrong 'button' (I wanted to like the post not laugh at it!). 

I also prefer the Lubitsch film but since he latter film is a musical I find them to be very different films with something to love in each (especially as noted,  Garland in the musical,  and the performances by the 3 main players in the Lubitsch film).

E.g. I really don't view My Fair Lady as a remake of Pygmalion,  but a much different adaptation of the Shaw play. 

The interplay between Sullavan and Stewart is magical and goes beyond the typically Lubitsch touch (due I assume to their off screen feelings for each other).

 

Yes, I think you see the Sullavan-Stewart "magic" in the three other films they did as well. But SHOP AROUND THE CORNER is not exactly their film. It's an ensemble piece and Lubitsch gives the entire cast a chance to shine (and they all do). I think the key mistake the later versions make is they become star vehicles. SUMMERTIME becomes a Judy Garland flick; and MAIL becomes another Meg Ryan rom-com. But this early one feels more like a filmed play, where all the parts are significant. I feel that works in its favour, because this is really a story not about two accidental lovers but a story about a community of people whose lives are deeply interconnected.

Screen shot 2017-11-22 at 12.55.53 PM.png

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THE SHOP AROUND THE CORNER is the best version for all the reasons noted.  Lubitsch is a magical director - is there anybody like him today?  The whole cast is terrific.  Great chemistry between Stewart and Sullavan.

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Frank Morgan was a fine actor who also shared the screen with Sullavan and Stewart in THE MORTAL STORM (an excellent film about the rise of the Nazis and the effect this has on regular people).

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