Thursday 15 December 2016

The Shop Around the Corner

Mr. Matuschek's Shop Around the Corner courtesy

Many movie fans are familiar with the love story You've Got Mail starring Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan.  However, many are unfamiliar with its precursor, The Shop Around the Corner.  Based on a Hungarian play called Parfumerie, this classic film stars Jimmy Stewart as a shop clerk who starts up a pen pal romance with a dream girl.  Little does he know that his dream girl is his annoying co-worker at the shop, Klara.

The two plan to meet for a dinner date in which Alfred is ready to propose marriage if it goes well.  However, their boss, Mr. Matuschek, insists that they work late that night.  The shopkeeper seems in a miserable mood which the co-workers chalk up to his personality.  Later, he fires Alfred for no apparent reason.  Later, the delivery boy Pepi arrives at the shop to find Mr. Matuschek ready to commit suicide, despondent that his wife is having an affair.  He had suspected Alfred of being the other man, but a private investigator he hired tells him the culprit is another employee.

A second attempt at a dinner date ends with Alfred, realizing that Klara is his mystery woman, claiming that he is at Cafe Nizza to meet someone else.  Klara declares that the man whom she waits for is "far superior" to a "little insignificant clerk" like Alfred.

The shopkeeper re-hires Alfred and two weeks later, on Christmas Eve, the shop enjoys record sales.  Alfred wants to go out and celebrate but he has no one to join him.  Klara reads Alfred a letter from her admirer.  Alfred finally admits that he indeed is the admirer.

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