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The Shop Around the Corner 1940

Two employees at a gift shop can barely stand one another, without realizing that they're falling in love through the post as each other's anonymous pen pal...

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Imdb rating: 8.1

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You've Got Mail stole the premise from this movie. Jimmy Stewart is great and has great chemistry with the female lead.
For those who have no idea what this movie is, let me clear it up for you. It is a classic film starring Jimmy Stewart, in fact, this film inspired the more recent romantic comedy known as You've Got Mail, though I assure you that Jimmy Stewart is MUCH more handsome than Tom Hanks! This movie tells the story of two quarreling Budapest workers who are secret penpals, and also begin to fall in love. The story is charming, it blends romance and comedy in a very good way all the while letting you really get involved with the other characters, such as the incomperable Peppy. Margaret Sullivan is the leading lady in this film, a woman with a big mouth and a big attitude to boot. An awesome pair of Stewart and Sullivan combined with the excellent "home-like" directing of Lubitsch, makes for a great movie. I recommend it to anyone
This was my first time seeing the film, and while I've seen the inferior remake by Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan called "You've Got Mail", I had always heard great things about this one.

All the praise was well deserved. This was a magnificent film. It trancended the romantic dramedy genre. The thing that sets this film apart is its depth. The depth of the story, yes, but moreso the depth of the characters.

The problem with most romantic comedies is that they are one dimensional. Their stories are formulaic and, because of this, are often boring. Their characters are flat as well, becoming puppets to the formula and showing no real conflict or interest aside from pining over the opposite sex.

This is not the case here. Jimmy Stewart as Alfred is witty and sarcastic, but also fragile and vulnerable. In the scene in which Margaret Sullivan's Ms. Novak is cold and bitter towards him in the cafe, calling him a simple clerk, there is a pain in his face, one that shows emotion not carried by most characters in this genre.

Not only Jimmy Stewart, but also Frank Morgan as Mr. Matuschek, a man who seems to be mere comic relief in the beginning. His inner conflict is soon brought to focus and he becomes a central character to the story, one trying to overcome his problems.

The story isn't all seriousness. There is plenty of humor mixed with the dramatic moments. Many times I find myself rolling my eyes at the humor in comedies from this far back, but not with this film. I laughed out loud on several occasions, and was pleasantly entertained by everyone involved.

Nothing is cliche about this film, and no performance needs to be overlooked or ignored. The film was wonderfully crafted by Ernst Lubitsch and it's easy to see why this film was so respected when it was released and why it has since been imitated by numerous filmmakers. It is a timeless piece that shouldn't be missed.
Clever and romantic love story that set in the Eastern Europe during WWII.
The charming James Stewart and Margaret Sullivan sparked in the movie and attracted my attention in the whole time.
Comments pending.
review forthcoming
So, this is the first entry. Not quite sure what to write, because I really don't need this journal at all. I've been quite comfortably situated at Livejournal for over three years now. Eh, whatever, I guess that this shall be my crazy, Rose-is-to-critical-for-her-own-good journal where I'll write my thoughts on everything and anything I can think of.

Hm. Where to start.

Well, I finally sat down and watched Shop Around the Corner, a DVD my friend Remy let me borrow over a week ago. I am sad to admit that throughout most of the film, I giddily compared it as much as possible to You've Got Mail as I possibly could. I'm not quite sure which version I liked better. You've Got Mail has held a place in my heart for many years, and I love the Meg Ryan/Tom Hanks chemistry, but... it is a remake. And nothing beats Jimmy Stewart.

Jimmy Stewart is the man. Seriously.

I wasn't quite as impressed with the depth of Shop Around the Corner as I was with You've Got Mail. I felt that YGM presented more of a backstory and gave more depth and feeling to the story than SATC, interesting enough. Hm.

In other news, a few days ago I rented The Motorcycle Diaries which I enjoyed thoroughly. Wow. I do sort of get a sick feeling in my stomach when I think of the atrocities that Che Guevara eventually inflicted though. He was a revolutionary and a communist. Now everything in the fiber of my American being sort of wants to call out Commie! and hate him. And then there is the fact that he killed a lot of innocent people. However, he was fighting for what he thought was the best for his people. I am not sure how I feel about dear old Che. The Motorcycle Diaries has me wishing he was a wonderful person, and I certainly connected quite well with Gael Garcia Bernal's portrayal of Che as a young man. It just makes me saddened to see what happened later to the man who showed such promise. In the movie at least.

Oh yes, I also had the unfortunate luck of watching Little Black Book and The Grudge last night as well. Oh how I wish I hadn't watched those films. Time and time again I find that my parents have no taste in movie choosing. I don't know what they were thinking going out and renting such tripe as those movies. Little Black Book is everything as sickening as the trailers led me to believe it was going to be. A jealous, blond Brittany Murphy goes through her boyfriends palm pilot and gets in a lot of trouble. Wow. So much plot to analyze. I almost want to say that The Grudge was worst than that little gem. Not frightening or suspenseful in the least. There was nothing...there... Oh wow! Computer generated eyes! Ahhh! Dead people!

I feel like such a desensitized American.

Oh! And finally, I watched Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World. I'll take this moment to state how much I truly do not like Russel Crowe. I know he is a decent actor and everything, but the man just makes me feel sick to my stomach when I see him on screen. It probably has something to do with the fact that my mother has instilled the belief that he broke up Meg Ryan and Dennis Quaid's marraige. I don't know if that is true, and I don't really care all that much, whatever the reason, I still do not like him. And I hate his movie A Beautiful Mind more than anything.

With that all said, Master and Commander actually was not too horrible. The details to which was taken on how life was on a British warship at the turn of the nineteenth century was a delight to watch. Cinematography was wonderful too. However, the movie as a whole felt far too rushed. Almost as though the book was too large to fit into a two hour movie. So much happens my brain is still spinning when I try to think back to it. It needed more direction towards a common plot. Now that I try and think about it...all I really remember is a lot about a doctor and the Galapagos Islands. There really wasn't an ending! Hm. I guess they were planning on a sequel then? The book series was 20 and a half books long I hear.

And so ends my criticisms. A Nice long first entry.
A wonderful and charming film. Ernst Lubitsch has a magic touch when it come to directing. James Stewart and Margaret Sullavan are wonderful together and perfectly cast. The screenplay is superb, well photographed. Charming from start to finish.
The Shop Around the Corner
The Shop Around the Corner is a sweet little romantic comedy. Sure, like other's have said, the chemistry between Stewart and Sullivan isn't anything to talk about, but the rest of the movie more than makes up for it. I actually caught myself smiling and laughing at quite a few of the scenes. Don't expect much greatness on the romance side, but expect greatness on the comedy side. Watching this is a great way to spend an evening.

Rating: 90/100

The General
Even after the initial viewing, I think I can safely say that The General is my favorite silent film. The General has some great comedy, and tells a very entertaining story. Just by watching this, and remembering what I watched as a child, it makes me wonder why Keaton didn't replace Chaplin as the 'king' of American silent films.

Rating: 100/100

Birdman of Alcatraz
Robert Stroud, a dangerous murderer, is sent to prison in Leavenworth. One day while having an argument with a guard, they get into a fight, and Robert Stroud kills him. He gets sentenced to death. Because of his mother he gets off with life in solitary confinement. One day as he is out in the courtyard, he notices a small sparrow and begins to nurture it. Soon he takes a big interest in caring for birds, and begins to write impressive essays, and books on the subject; This is with only a third grade education. To see all that Robert Stroud went through is quite interesting (Even if it may not be 100% accurate). He goes through many conflicts trying to resolve them in the best way. He even gets married!

What puzzles me is the title. He cares for all his bird while in Leavenworth prison, not while in Alcatraz. The movie only spends about 30 minutes in Alcatraz, where he doesn't even nurse a single bird. The movies title would of probably been more accurate to have been called Birdman of Leavenworth.

I didn't know what to expect coming into this movie. All I had really heard about it was from my Dad. In the end it was a nice little film and was a pretty good way to spend an evening. The biggest complaint I have is probably the length. It could have probably been cut down a good half hour from 150 minutes to 120 minutes. But despite that, and some dull scenes, Birdman of Alcatraz is definitly worth a watch.

Burt Lancaster is really what makes Birdman of Alcatraz a special movie. His performance was very good and made the movie that much more special. Because of his perfromance, you start to care for Robert Stroud. But you have to keep in mind that he is a dangerous man. Sure maybe his performance wasn't as good as Peter O' Tooles in Lawrence of Arabia, or Gregory Peck's in To Kill a Mockingbird, but it was still memorable. The movie is a pretty nice way to spend an evening, nothing to intellectual, but quite entertaining. Most of the acting wasn't on par with Lancaster's, but I wasn't expecting it to be either.

Rating: 82/100

Z
Z is one of the finest political thrillers ever made, and is actually based on a true story. The story was very interesting, and the acting was pretty good. My large complaint is that some of the cinematography wasn't as good as I was hoping it to be. In the end turns out to be a must see foreign film that won't dissapoint you.

Rating: 90/100

My Man Godfrey
My Man Godfrey is one of the best classic screwball romantic comedies. It has a memorable story. The entire cast does a very good job; I think it's one of the first movies, if not the first, to garner a nomination in every acting category. It's definitly worth it to check this one out.

Rating: 92/100
***.5/****

Pro: The chemistry, and the use of the workplace in the language of the film. Stewart's advantage throughout. The dark subplot.

Con: The ending fails to excite.