10 May 2005 | bronxmom
I saw this musical on TV back in 1979 as a teenager and never forgot it! PBS showed it for about 3 three years straight during the Christmas season, then stopped airing it around 1982. I searched for 20 years to find a copy, but I could barely find any press on it, let alone a copy! I was finally able to get a copy a couple of years ago and it was as good as I remembered. I hoped it's released soon... It's a musical version of "Shop Around the Corner" (which was the precursor of "You Have Mail") starring Robin Ellis of Poldark fame as Mr. Novack (James Stewart's part in Shop Around the Corner) and Gemma Craven as Amalia Balash (the Margaret Sullavan part in SATC). It takes place for the most part in a 'parfumerie' called Maraczeks, in 1930's Budapest. Mr. Novack is the Head clerk, and fellow employees include Mr. Sipos, an older sort of milquetoast fellow with a wife & family, Ilona, a comely lady who's been around (if you know what I mean), Mr. Kodaly, a playboy, and the owner, Mr. Maraczek. Another employee has left because she's expecting. They're one short, but business is slow so Mr. Maraczek doesn't want to hire someone to replace her. Amalia comes in one day looking for a job and gets hired by Mr. Maraczek after helping him win a bet against Mr.Novack. Unbeknowst to each other, Amalia & Mr. Novack have been communicating by mail, lonely hearts club style. Although in their letters to each other, they're in tune and are very interested in each other, at the shop they dislike each other and fight all the time. If you're familiar with the premise of these types of movies, you can well guess the goings on that come next. While this version omits a couple of songs from the Broadway musical, and vocally the adorable Gemma is no Barbara Cook(who created the role on Broadway) - this is a very enchanting movie! Great music, good performances, a quaint story, funny & romantic, all in all, a very pleasant way to spend a couple of hours....