The Shop Around the Corner

1940, USA, Language: English, Subtitles: Hungarian (96'); Screening: 09.08, 20.00, Toldi Cinema, Kisterem

Many love the film Sleepless in Seattle, in which the girl working in a small bookshop falls in love with the boy running a huge publishing empire, who can be considered her ‘enemy’ according to the rules of capitalism. However, few know that the film was written on the basis of the work Parfumerie (Illatszertár) by Miklós László, as was the classic The Shop Around the Corner directed by Ernst Lubitsch. James Stewart plays Alfred Kralik in this film, which can be considered the forerunner of romantic comedies. The actor garnered far greater plaudits in Vertigo by Hitchcock, whose Christian name was also Alfred. In Lubitsch’s film, they do not sell perfume or books in the Váci street corner shop, but suitcases: in 1940, the year the film was shot, the suitcase was one of the most sought-after items (at least in Europe). The writer Miklós László crossed the ocean clutching a suitcase in 1938.

Directed by: Ernst Lubitsch
Written by: Miklós László
Screenplay by: Samson Raphaelson
Director of photography: William H. Daniels
Music by: Werner R. Heymann
Cast: Margaret Sullavan, James Stewart, Frank Morgan, Joseph Schildkraut, Sara Haden, Felix Bressart
Genre: comedy
Production: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
Format: black and white, 1.37: 1

With an introduction by Gabriel Paletz.