Great Christmas Movie for a Curl-up on the Couch & a Cuppa Hot Cocoa

Jimmy Stewart — The Shop Around the Corner – Black & White – 1940

It’s the Christmas season and the shop on the corner is having a sale. Alfred Kralik (James Stewart) is the store’s top salesman and a kind of underboss to Hugo Matuschek (Frank Morgan). There is rivalry and tension among the employees at the shop and Mr. Matuschek is not the easiest employer to get along with. Enter Klara Novak (Margaret Sullavan), timidly asking for a job. Over Kralik’s (Stewart’s) objections, she is hired. This starts Stewart and Sullavan off on the wrong foot and their animosity escalates to where they dislike each other intensely.

Stewart can’t help comparing her to this highly educated, cultured woman he corresponds with. But he’s never even seen a picture of her. He discusses his pen-pal sweetheart and the problem of what she might look like with his co-worker and friend, Pirovitch (Felix Bressart), and his nervousness about meeting her. He tells the man about how far the letters have advanced in the romance department.

Stewart — We got on the subject of love, Naturally on a very cultural level.

Pirovitch – Naturally. What else can you do in a letter?

He and she correspond with each other and make a date to meet at a restaurant nearby. It happens that Sullavan also has a date on the same night and they both can’t have the night off from the shop, which starts a terrible argument. Sullavan’s date, whom she corresponds with, is the perfect gentleman, and she can’t help comparing him to her unchivalrous and inconsiderate boss (Stewart).

Wikipedia — The Shop Around the Corner is ranked #28 on AFI’s 100 Years… 100 Passions, and is listed in Time’s All-Time 100 Movies.[3] In 1999, the film was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant. —

Based on a 1937 Hungarian play, the setting for the movie is Budapest. I suggest you not watch the official trailer. It’s so boring it’ll put you sleep in no time flat and put you off this wonderful movie forever. Give it a chance. The dialogue alone is worth the watch, much less the treat of seeing Jimmy Stewart and Margaret Sullavan in action. And if you think the store owner, Mr. Matuschek, looks familiar, you’re right. Frank Morgan is the magician, and Great and Powerful Oz of “The Wizard of Oz”.

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20 thoughts on “Great Christmas Movie for a Curl-up on the Couch & a Cuppa Hot Cocoa

  1. Jimmy Stewart is about as good as it gets. Probably, he’s best when he makes those little, quiet and calm wishes, like at the end of the clip or in “It’s a Wonderful Life” when he prays.

    • You got that right. The first time I watched It’s a Wonderful Life it gave me goose bumps. I picked this one because it’s not as familiar as IAWL. And “Harvey” is just eaten up with wonderful quotes.

      Merry Christmas to you and your family. O, by the way, I mentioned you and your blog in my Westjet post. Mike and I had missed the whole Westjet Christmas. Wouldn’t have known anything about it if you hadn’t posted it on Facebook. And we scan the news everyday. Don’t know how we missed it. So thanks for the heads-up.

  2. That is such a wonderful movie. Love it. I also love the updated version or this — well, sort of — titled “You’ve Got Mail” with Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan.

    This post makes me want to watch “A Christmas Story” again very soon for the upteenth time. It’s my all-time favorite Christmas movie.

    • Yes I’ve seen Got Mail several times. I’ve never seen “A Christmas Story”. Loved the trailer. Mike says he’s seen it. We plan to watch it tonight. I still haven’t gotten my movie day with Katie OR Tammy. Things keep coming up. Katie and Randy had to take their little Papillon to the vet. Turns out he had kidney stones. One was so awkwardly located he had to have surgery. He’s convalescing at home now. He is too cute. His name is John Luke PUPard. John is pronounced the French way. You skate over the J. Like zzshohn. Looks like I’m going to have to watch my new movies by myself. But I just love a movie day with company. Hey. You wouldn’t consider mailing yourself through FedEx, would you? You know, next day shipping when it’s just gotta be there.:)

      • I hope you enjoyed “A Christmas Story.” I think it’s hilarious and we watch it every year at Christmastime.

        So sorry to hear about Katie and Randy’s dog needing surgery. The poor little thing.

        I chuckled at your explanation of how to pronounce Jean Luc (in French) and I love “PUPard.”

        If there was any possible way I could send myself to Alabama to watch movies with you, I’d do it in a heart beat. If would be so much fun.

        Big snowstorm headed our way for tomorrow and Monday. Thankfully we don’t have to go anywhere until Thursday. It was -14 when I got up this morning. That’s another good reason to send myself to ‘bama.

      • I don’t know which of the Katie and Randy dandy duo came up with the name. But it was chuckle -ing-ly clever, don’t you think?

        By the way. There’s a “care package” coming your way sometime this week from Alabama. You and Frank just gotta get a taste of the “Heart of Dixie”. I just knew that was on y’all’s “bucket list”. Right?

      • Oh! Thank you! “Goodies” are very popular in our house, especially those from the South. And with pralines coming from South Carolina, too, what more could anyone ask for.

        “I just knew that was on y’all’s “bucket list”. Right?”

        You’d better believe it! 🙂

      • Okay. I just lost about 20 minutes of reply. I’ve got to remember to cut and paste. DRAT!

        I’ll just jump right into the movie. Tammy and I did our movie day with a good cuppa coffee and cheese danish. It was a swell day. We watched P.S. I Love You.

        I’ve got a mixed review. I absolutely LOVED Harry Connick Jr’s role. Loved him Loved him.

        I loved William (Jeffry Dean Morgan). Liked him so much I had to research him.

        Cathy Bates was good in her role.

        The most disappointing ones were Gerard Butler and Hillary Swank. Gerard was handsome, naturally. But he didn’t fit the sometimes silly stuff he did. And he and Swank didn’t seem to ignite a single spark between them. And I think that’s Hillary’s fault. She didn’t do romance very romantically. She looked like she was going through the required motions and that was it. She didn’t even do well in the scenes with William, and a woman would have to be dead and buried for a hundred years not to spark with that man. He was tender, kind, funny, attentive, handsome, sexy, with a quirky smile to die for. What was wrong with that woman?

        However, Tammy had no problemo with Gerard and Swank. So there ya go.

        Thank you for the movie. I now love Harry Connick even more than I did, and I also have a new actor to follow — Jeffry Dean Morgan. Hey! Have you seen the publicity for Idol? Harry Connick is definitely in as a judge and so is Keith Urban and Jennifer Lopez.

      • As much as I love this movie, I do think Hilary Swank is best in dark and/or serious roles such as “Boys Don’t Cry” and “Million Dollar Baby.” She and Gerry both looked a bit long in the tooth for the flashbacks of when they first met.

        I agree that Harry Connick, Jr. is awesome in this and I fell in love with Jeffrey Dean Morgan after seeing this movie. I loved the shocked reaction on both their parts when he discovered she was “Gerry’s Holly” and she realized he was Gerry’s good friend. I loved Gerry (really) singing “Mustage Sally.” I thought Holly’s girlfriends were good and, of course, Kathy Bates. But Bates is ALWAYS good. I wonder how this movie might have been with different actors playing Holly and Gerry. I’m glad Tammy enjoyed the movie so much.

        Yes, I’ve seen lots of promos for Idol and the judging panel has excellent chemistry. That alone will make the show MUCH more enjoyable than last season. Tonight is the results show for “The Voice” so it will be over for another year.

      • Loved Million Dollar Baby. And yes, the shocked reactions was one of the best scenes.

        I agree with your assessment that the “judging panel has excellent chemistry”, and “will be much more enjoyable than last season”. Hope your pick for The Voice makes it.

      • BTW, did you know that if you click on the words The Village Smith in my LJ entry, it automatically directs the reader to here? That’s known as a hidden link.

        There are three people in The Voice final. The guy I don’t care about at all, but the two woman are fantastic. One is only 16 and she belts out a song like a combination of Whitney Houston and Aretha Franklin. She’s a phenomenon for sure. I’d be happy if either of the women win. Blake Shelton has been the winning judge all three seasons that the show’s been on the air, but he won’t be this year because he doesn’t have a dog in the race. CeeLo’s contesntants are gone, too. Adam Levine and Christina Aguilera will have to battle it out. I recorded the finale and it’s over now so I should go watch my recording and find out who won.

        Off topic, but have you seen the movie “The Notebook” with Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdams? It’s a wonderful love story, too. I just came across the trailer and thought of you.

      • I agree, the movie of “A Walk to Remember” was rubbish. But they really did justice to Nicholas Sparks with “The Notebook.” Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdams are marvelous actors. James Garner and Gena Rowlands play them as old people. Most of the movie is flashbacks. In this case, both the book AND the movie are terrific. You should watch it.

        Did you watch “A Christmas Story” as planned. I’d love to know what you thought of it when you do.

      • Mike and I watched part of it. It started out cute, but we kind of lost interest after a while. Sorry. I can’t pinpoint the problem. But I think many consider it a classic. I liked the actors.

      • It got very good later on in the film when things got serious. The beginning was just silliness. But Ryan’s character movies mountains to get Rachel before she marries someone “more fitting,” as in social standing, due to the prodding by her parents. It’s a close call because she’s at the altar if I recall correctly. It’s schmaltzy and I love me a bit of well-acted schmaltz 🙂

      • That’s too bad. You should give it another shot and stay with it. It’s a really good story and VERY well acted. Ryan Gosling is a marvel in every movie he makes.

      • I’ll give it another try. I’ve always liked those actors – Gavin MacLeod and the little boy. Ryan Gosling’s face is familiar, but haven’t seen him in much. I see he played in Remember the Titans (which I’ve seen and liked), and The Notebook, which I haven’t seen.

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