Second Film in Ogunquit Performing Arts’ 17th Annual Classic Film Series is the holiday classic,
“The Shop Around the Corner” Sunday December 10, 2017 —2 pm
at the Dunaway Center, 23 School Street, Ogunquit.
Admission, parking and popcorn are free!
Ogunquit Performing Arts continues its 2017-2018 Classic Film Series with a screening of Ernst Lubitsch’s romantic comedy, “The Shop Around the Corner” on Sunday, December 10th at 2:00 pm at the Dunaway Center, 23 School Street, Ogunquit. Admission, parking and popcorn are free.
“The Shop Around the Corner” is a 1940 American ensemble comedy film produced and directed by Ernst Lubitsch, and starring Margaret Sullavan, James Stewart, and Frank Morgan. The screenplay was written by Samson Raphaelson, based on the 1937 Hungarian play Parfumerie by Miklos Laszlo.
Set at Christmastime, “The Shop Around the Corner” tells the story of the assorted employees of a notions shop in Budapest. The main characters are head clerk Alfred Kralik (Stewart) and new employee Klara Novak (Sullavan), who can barely stand each other, not realizing they’re falling in love as anonymous correspondents through their letters. The film is also a true ensemble piece, delving into the lives and personalities of each employee, including the crusty, ill-tempered boss Matuschek (Frank Morgan), a kindly family man Pirovitch (Felix Bressart), and a good-looking but vain salesman Vadas (Joseph Schildkraut).
German-born Ernst Lubitsch achieved great renown as a film-maker, first in Europe, and then in America, in the early part of the 20th century. His series of successful films transitioned without interruption from the silent to the sound eras. His sophisticated style of subtle, nuanced humor, his incisive and witty visual detail, and impeccable timing, became widely known as “the Lubitsch Touch”.
Lubitch’s success in Hollywood was remarkable. He directed an unbroken succession of hits, surpassing his previous achievement each time. His professional influence grew with every film, and his unique comedy style was commonly imitated by other directors.
He had bought the rights to Laszlo’s play Parfumerie shortly after its debut, but waited for the combination of the right studio (the luxurious MGM), and the right players before beginning production. Lubitsch had always envisioned James Stewart for the male lead, but considered several actresses, including Janet Gaynor, before casting Margaret Sullavan as Klara.
By the 1940 premiere of “The Shop Around the Corner,” Lubitsch was already renowned throughout Hollywood for his popular movies that combined romance and wit, (including sophisticated fare like Design for Living (1933) and Ninotchka (1939). His deft handling of this sparkling ensemble piece was yet further proof of his creative genius.
Lubitsch’s film inspired many adaptations and remakes, including the musical film, “In the Good Old Summertime” with Judy Garland and Van Johnson (1949), the 1963 Broadway musical “She Loves Me,” and the 1998 film “You’ve Got Mail”, starring Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan.
Begin your holidays with a visit to the snowy streets of Budapest and enjoy the Lubitsch charm. “The Shop Around the Corner” is shown on a full wall-size screen, admission is free, and popcorn is served!
Mark your calendars for upcoming Classic Film showings in 2018:
Sunday, Jan 7, 2018: Benjamin Britten’s “Peter Grimes” with Jon Vickers
Sunday, Feb 4: “Dinner at Eight” with Jean Harlow, John Barrymore
Sunday, March 4: “Friendly Persuasion” with Gary Cooper, Dorothy McGuire
Sunday, April 1: “A Place in the Sun” with Elizabeth Taylor, Montgomery Clift
Sunday, May 6: “South Pacific” with Mitzi Gaynor, Rossano Brazzi