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The Shop Around the Corner (1940)

Producer-director Ernst Lubitsch was the master of sophisticated comedy, but after giving MGM Ninotchka (1939) he broke character with this touchingly sentimental romantic comedy. The tale of bickering co-workers who don’t realize they’re also romantic pen pals proved to be the perfect vehicle for off-screen friends James Stewart and Margaret Sullavan. This was the third of the four films they made together, and critics have hailed it as their best, the perfect reflection of the deep affection they shared for each other. The film was a box-office winner that gave MGM an extra dividend when they remade it as the musical In the Good Old Summertime (1949), with Judy Garland and Van Johnson. It would also inspire You’ve Got Mail (1998), with Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan. 

d. Ernst Lubitsch, 99m, DCP