Sunday, September 19, 2010

Links: The Shop Around the Corner

Frank Nugent review the film for The New York Times way back in January, 1940. Nugent is better known as the screenwriter of many a John Ford film, including former Metro Classics The Searchers and The Quiet Man.

"So there it is, and a pretty kettle of bubbling brew it makes under Mr. Lubitsch's deft and tender management and with a genial company to play it gently, well this side of farce and well that side of utter seriousness. Possibly the most surprising part of it is the adaptability of the players to Mr. Lubitsch's Continental milieu whose splendid evocation is one of the nicest things of the picture." attempts to define the "Lubitsch Touch," that elusive quality of director Ernst Lubitsch's film's that makes them quite unlike the standard screwball and musical comedies of the 30s and 40s. There are contributions from critics, readers and the director of next week's Classic, Lubitsch acolyte Billy Wilder.

""The Lubitsch Touch" is a brief description that embraces a long list of virtues: sophistication, style, subtlety, wit, charm, elegance, suavity, polished nonchalance and audacious sexual nuance." -- Richard Christiansen (Chicago Tribune)"

Dan Callahan at the Bright Lights Film Journal goes in-depth on the career of Margaret Sullavan, who starred in only 16 movies, but is nonetheless one of the greatest stars of the 30s. Here's Gore Vidal on her talent for dying on-screen:

"Margaret Sullavan was a star whose deathbed scenes were one of the great joys of the Golden Age of Movies. Sullavan never simply kicked the bucket. She made speeches, as she lay dying; and she was so incredibly noble that she made you feel like an absolute twerp for continuing to live out your petty life after she'd ridden on ahead."

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