The Shop Around the Corner (1940)

What is it that tempts film-makers to say “Ah! Let’s do a remake of this one!”? A conviction that a script that’s worked once will work again? Also perhaps a somewhat egoistic belief that they will be able to make a better adaptation than whoever made the original film? This story, a classic Ernst Lubitsch romantic comedy, certainly had a lot going for it: sweetness, dewy-eyed romance, and a heart-warming wholesomeness set against a backdrop of wartime Budapest. No wonder, a mere 9 years after it was made, The Shop Around the Corner was remade as In The Good Old Summertime.

But which is better? And how do they compare?

Continue reading

Ninotchka (1939)

A Russian woman arrives in Paris in the first half of the 20th century, as a somewhat belated consequence of the Russian Revolution.
An earlier version of Anastasia? No, though I was surprised at the coincidence in basics between this film and the one I saw last week. And, interestingly enough, there was another similarity between Anastasia and Ninotchka: both starred Swedish actresses, Ingrid Bergman and Greta Garbo respectively.

Greta Garbo in Ninotchka

Continue reading