THE SHOP AROUND THE CORNER
1940, Warner Bros., 99 min, USA, Dir: Ernst Lubitsch

James Stewart and Margaret Sullavan, coworkers in a quaint Budapest shop, clash in person but fall in love via anonymous letters in this charming classic set at Christmastime. Under Lubitsch’s expert direction, the film becomes both an intimate love story and a heartwarming ensemble comedy, as multiple subplots following the lovers’ colleagues, including cantankerous shop owner Frank Morgan and egotistical ladies man Joseph Schildkraut, are deftly woven into the narrative. A deeply romantic masterpiece based on Miklos Laszlo’s play Parfumerie (which also inspired Nora Ephron’s YOU’VE GOT MAIL.)


THE GOOD FAIRY
1935, Universal, 98 min, USA, Dir: William Wyler

Before he became one of the world’s greatest comedy directors, Preston Sturges scripted this gem about a well-meaning but naïve cinema usherette (Margaret Sullavan) who inadvertently spreads chaos. Adapted from Ferenc Molnar’s farce, the comedy follows Sullavan as she juggles men including Herbert Marshall and Frank Morgan, piling up comic misunderstandings along the way.


BOMBSHELL
1933, Warner Bros., 96 min, USA, Dir: Victor Fleming

Victor Fleming’s positively breakneck-pace satire of Hollywood. Jean Harlow is at her peak as harried Lola Burns, a movie matinee idol being driven crazy by relentless press agent Lee Tracy (who also has the hots for her). The movie she’s shooting with director heartthrob Pat O’Brien is modeled after RED DUST. Naughty double entendres fly fast and furious in this razor-sharp and unabashedly shameless screwball comedy produced by M-G-M.


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