Classic Hollywood #77 – Margaret Sullavan, Ernst Lubitsch & James Stewart – 1939

Margaret Sullavan, Ernst Lubitsch & James Stewart On The Set of The Shop Around The Corner – 1939

James Stewart Margaret Sullavan Ernst Lubitsch on set Shop Around The Corner 1939

The Shop Around The Corner wasn’t a very big hit for James Stewart and Margaret Sullavan when it was released in 1940. The “Lubitsch Touch,” director Ernst Lubitsch’s flare for sophisticated comedy, did not translate to a box office smash, domestically grossing $2.4 million ($76.9 million adjusted) according to Ultimate Movie Rankings. Though IMDB says the film made only $380,000 worldwide. The movie cost less than $500,000 to make. Depending on which number is accurate MGM had a modest success or a slight loss.

The slug reads:

Lubitsch Takes The Stage

Fresh from his success as a director of high comedy in “Ninotchka” Ernst Lubitsch tries out a new gag on Margaret Sullavan and James Stewart between scenes on “The Shop Around The Corner” set. Believing his listeners must be in a mellow mood if his story is to get a laugh, he furnishes refreshments.

“Oh, I get it!” exclaims Margaret and Jimmy much, much later. Lubitsch now tries to think up another story whether he should put the one just told in “The Shop Around The Corner.” (1939 – MGM)

You’ve Got Mail (1998) with Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan was loosely based on The Shop Around The Corner. If you’ve seen both films it might be a stretch to say that You’ve Got Mail is the better picture. You’ve Got Mail had a worldwide gross of over $250 million.

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