The Best Old Movies on a Big Screen This Fortnight: NYC Repertory Cinema Picks, December 24-January 6

12/24/2014 1:00 PM |


The Shop Around the Corner (1940)
Directed by Ernst Lubitsch
“Twenty-two years we’ve been married. Twenty-two years I was proud of my wife. Well, she just didn’t want to grow old with me… If you send me your bill I’ll take care of it immediately.” Its backlot Budapest setting (and murmured Mitteleuropean accents from which stars Jimmy Stewart and Margaret Sullavan are exempted) gives Lubitsch’s Christmas shopping season classic a slight haze of dreamland, which persists despite glancing references to the Great Depression and the looming loneliness of unaccompanied evenings. As the department store clerks and pen pals who spar so fiercely It Can Only Be Love, Stewart and Sullavan enact a classic screwball pairing, but it’s all part of a gentle, utopian vision of the workplace as a haven from troubles and source of true companionship. Mark Asch (Dec 25-31 at Film Forum; showtimes daily)