Shop Around The Corner (1940) Is based upon the play "Parfumerie"
This is a film that is supposed to be taken in place in Budapest Hungary. The characters use foreign Hungarian currency, and mention locations, names that are more common to Budapest Hungary; and yet the film is relatable in that it feels more like it is taken place in an American City. The film is driven so much by the performances rather than the locations that I never really felt too distracted except when the characters would make references to things that were linked to Budapest.
The film in many ways is shot like a play. The characters mostly stay in the shop during most of the film. There may be a few other locations outside of the shop such as the café, the hospital room, a woman’s room, but besides that not much more.
A film where you really need to be able to follow the dialog and who is speaking to who and what. The other thing is the body language with the micro expressions on the actors faces. I think that this is one of the better acting films.
I saw this a second time and the story made much more sense because I knew what to look for in the other character while the other was saying the dialog.
What I find interesting is how a key figure to this story is in an affair with one of the characters in the film that is never seen but only referred to by other characters or on the phone. Not much is seen from that particular character as a sign of a relationship but just small hints.
I think the costumes stand out in this film. It is obvious to me that each costume choice perfectly fits the character they are portraying.
I think one of the major stand out characters in this film was Pepi Katona. I like Mr. Pepi Katona in his lines and way he speaks. Pepi almost stole the film by his performance even though we see so little of his character in the film. His character changed drastically when he went from errand messenger to a clerk. I even liked how Pepi's voice and tone changed on the phone as he talked to different characters. Even Pepi's clothes and how he presented himself to others changes in this film as we presents himself to others as different characters.
I liked the scene where Pirovitch is looking through the window of the café to see who is the girl to Alfred. I enjoy the scene because in it we never see the girl. The scene is purely driven by dialog and what the listeners reactions are to the speaker yet we understand or get a mental picture of what the other sees. Because we don't see the girl and we only can infer what is happening and going on based upon the dialog and reactions.
I like Jimmy Stewarts acting in this film. Just by his body language, facial language he is able to convey a lot in this film about what he really is thinking without necessarily saying anything.
I also like the loyalty and character of Pirovitch. What gets me about this film is how it mostly takes place at the shop but never felt bird staying in one location. This film is mostly driven by the performances.