Mal Vincent hosts The Shop Around The Corner

Monday, August 2nd, at 7:00pm

When the history of Norfolk’s entertainment world is written, Margaret Sullavan should reign, perhaps as the city’s most famous native actress. The daughter of a wealthy stockbroker, she first acted at Norfolk Little Theater before becoming a legendary star both on Broadway and in Hollywood; marrying four wealthy men, being nominated for an Oscar, standing up to all the ruling forces of Hollywood, including Louis B. Mayer. Off screen, she married Henry Fonda and Oscar-winning director William Wyler. She was considered a major contender to play Scarlett O’Hara in Gone with the Wind but she preferred the stage. Here she is in her most popular film, co-starring James Stewart, who was in love with her for most of his life. The Shop Around the Corner is considered one of the romantic comedy treasures of director Ernst Lubitsch, who called it his best film. So good in fact that it has been remade twice. (The last was You’ve Got Mail, with Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks). The two lead characters hate each other while they work in the same shop together, not knowing that they are writing secret love letters to each other. Mal faces the task of explaining her tragic ending; before that, the movie is a joy. Work is underway for a biography of the star by a writer who recently visited locally to do research. (1940, 99 mins)