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♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ [ Applause ] ♪ ♪ [ Horn honking ] ♪ [ Honks ] ♪ -♪ Good morning! -♪ Good day!

-♪ How are you this beautiful day? ♪ ♪ Isn't this a beautiful morning? ♪ -♪ Very!

-♪ Hey, Sipos, how's this?

-♪ That's an awfully elegant pose ♪ ♪ But is all that elegance necessary? ♪ -And why not? I represent Maraczek's, don't I?

We're not a butcher shop or a hardware store, we're a parfumerie!

And that means we're... we're... -♪ We're stylish -That's it!

-♪ With a quiet dignity -Yes.

♪ And we get the tilt of our hats right ♪ -That's right! -♪ When I ride my bike ♪ People see what Maraczek's like ♪ ♪ So I think it's very important ♪ ♪ That I look my best -And how many people did you run over today?

Not one. -Well, it's early.

-Here comes Miss Ritter! -Oh?

-She spent the night with Mr. Kodaly.

-Again?! -They always kiss goodbye at the newsstand and then she walks around the block to make us think she's been home.

[ Cheering and applause ] -♪ Good morning! -♪ Good day!

-♪ How are you this glorious day? ♪ ♪ Have you seen a lovelier morning? ♪ -♪ Never! -♪ It's too nice a day ♪ To be inside shuffling soap ♪ I have no more energy whatsoever ♪ Anybody mind if I take the day off?

Arpad, why aren't you old enough to take me away from all this?

-I'm old enough. -Well, then, marry me.

And I'll quit my job.

No, I'm afraid you're not really quite old enough.

-Won't be long, though, I'm catching up.

You know, Miss Horvath always used to say I'd get to be 35 before you ever did.

-Ah, Mr. Kodaly.

-♪ Good morning! -♪ Good day!

-♪ How are you this radiant day ♪ ♪ What a rare magnificent morning! ♪ -♪ Is it? -♪ Good morning, my dear!

♪ How are you this ravishing day? ♪ ♪ Do you know, you've never looked more exquisite ♪ -Thank you, kind sir.

-What a lovely dress! -It's the same one she had on yesterday, Mr. Kodaly.

-Well, if it isn't Mr. Nowack!

-♪ Ah! Good morning! -♪ Good day!

-♪ Isn't that a beautiful sky? ♪ ♪What a perfect sample of summer weather! ♪ ♪ It's too nice a day to be indoors counting out change ♪ ♪ What a waste of holiday weather! All together ♪ ♪ Let's all run away -♪ Ah! Wouldn't it be something if we all took off from work? ♪ ♪ -Leaving Mr. Maraczek without a single clerk! ♪ -♪ Why not have a picnic?

-♪ I could bring my wife's preserves ♪ -♪ Champagne might be nice with hot hors d'oeuvres! ♪ -♪ It's too nice a day to be stuck inside of a store ♪ ♪ We could all be getting our summer suntan! ♪ ♪ It's so nice a day to be dozing under a tree ♪ -♪ And we'll all be out of a job ♪ -♪ If it costs that much to get suntanned... ♪ -♪ I'll stay untanned -♪ Pale, but solvent -♪ A picnic -♪ A picnic Oh, well.

[ Cheering and applause ] -Well, Mr. Nowack, was the chicken the usual success?

-What? -Last night!

Your weekly dinner with Mr. and Mrs. Maraczek.

-Oh, right! -Did you talk to Mr. Maraczek about replacing Miss Horvath?

-Oh, I mentioned it -- absolutely not.

After all, with business the way it's been... -Yes, but it's bound to pick up now that Hammerschmidt's has closed!

-Did you ever try their hand cream?

-I wonder if it's any good.

-Good? My dear woman, my wife has been using their products for years -- in fact, I've often wondered why theirs are always so much better than everyone else's.

-You should know... Mr. Maraczek.

[ Laughter ] -Good morning, sir! -Good morning, Mr. Maraczek!

-Morning, morning. -Good morning!

-Good day!

♪ [ Inhales, sighs ] ♪ [ Applause ] ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ [ Clock ticking ] -Good day, madam, may I help you?

-Good day, madam, may I help you?

-Good day, madam, may I help you?

♪ -♪ I would like to see a... -♪ Face like yours -♪ Cracked... -♪ But we carry... -♪ Do you have a cream for -- -♪ Very red -♪ Skin? -♪ Oh, I see what you mean!

-♪ You will look enchanting -♪ Dry lips -♪ Glamorous as Garbo -♪ Big mouth -♪ I would recommend a -♪ Bath -♪ Today -♪ On sale, did you say?

-♪ Put a little lipstick -♪ On your nose -♪ Twice -♪ Morning and evening -♪ And a little brush for -♪ Combing my -♪ Teeth! -♪ Absolutely!

-♪ Wrap it up and send it! Thank you so much! ♪ -♪ Is there something else before you go? ♪ -♪ Yes ♪ What have I forgotten?

♪ I know there was something else ♪ ♪ What could it be?

♪ Something unimportant, something for my husband ♪ ♪ Really doesn't matter, let's get back to me! ♪ -♪ I could also use a -♪ Bottle of -♪ Hair -♪ We have a splendid -♪ Here's an inexpensive perfume called ♪ -♪ Rat -♪ I'd never use one -♪ If you want to clip your -♪ Earlobes -♪ You may want to dye your -♪ Hangnails -♪ Dab a little on your -♪ Husband's face -♪ Won't he be surprised!

-♪ I would like an eyebrow -♪ Under my -♪ Chin -♪ There's an idea -♪ Madam, I am filled with very soft ♪ -♪ Soap -♪ That should do it ♪ Wrap it up and charge it! Thank you so much! ♪ -♪ Always such a pleasure seeing you! ♪ ♪ Thank you, madam, please call again ♪ ♪ Do call again ♪ Madam [ Applause ] -Did you see that? It looks like business is picking up!

-Ladislav, I got another letter today.

-From her?! -It's so beautiful, I've got to read it to you.

-Did she enclose a snapshot this time?

Did she say anything about meeting you face-to-face?

-Um, well, we're going to very soon.

But just listen to this.

'Dear Friend.' [ Giggles ] 'Yesterday morning, I ran through the rain to the post office. I had the key in my hand, the key to box 1433.

Trembling, I opened the door and reached inside, and, oh, my dear friend, there you were.

I took you out, held you in my hand, and looked at you for a moment, and I sat down, gently opened you, and read you.

-Mr. Sipos? -Yes, sir?

-Could you spare me one of your stomach pills?

-Oh, yes, sir, of course, sir. -Thank you.

You know whose fault this is. -No, sir.

-Yours! -Mine?! -Every time you come to dinner, Mrs. Maraczek tries to fatten you up -- she has to cook me dumplings and cream gravy, and what happens -- you stay slim and I get heartburn!

-Well, I'm very sorry, sir. -But, Georg, it's time you were married.

Haven't you had enough of living in furnished rooms and running around to cabarets and dance halls?

-Mr. Maraczek, I haven't been to a dance hall in years!

-Oh, I know what you bachelors are like!

Remember, I was once one myself, and... [ Inhales sharply ] What a bachelor!

♪ Young, strong ♪ Oh, I was something in days gone by ♪ ♪ With some girl ♪ Just happened to catch my eye ♪ ♪ Slim, straight ♪ Light on my feet ♪ Shoes just skimming the ground ♪ ♪ One-two-three, one-two-three ♪ ♪ Follow the beat ♪ Around, around, around ♪ All night ♪ Circling the floor ♪ Till dawn ♪ Lit up the sky ♪ No one younger than I ♪ In days gone by But then I met Mrs. Maraczek, and ever since I've danced only with her.

I bet you think that's incredible.

-No, Mrs. Maraczek is a beautiful woman -- ♪ Young, strong ♪ Oh, I was something in days gone by ♪ -Well, the fact is, I'm a terrible dancer!

-♪ With some girl ♪ Just happened to catch my eye ♪ -I can do it with my hands!

-♪ Slim, straight ♪ Light on my feet -I've always had trouble with my feet -- -♪ Shoes just skimming the ground ♪ ♪ One-two-three, one-two-three ♪ ♪ Follow the beat ♪ Around, around Miss Ritter!

♪ -Relax! -And go back, two, three, back, two, three. -Smile!

-That's it, Mr. Nowack!

-Spin me around, and go back, two, three, back, two, three!

-Very good, Georg! -That's it, Georg!

-♪ All night, circling the floor ♪ ♪ Till dawn ♪ Lit up the sky ♪ No one younger than I ♪ In days gone by ♪ -Thank you, Georg. -Take my advice, Georg, find yourself one person to dance with -- believe me, it's not necessary to change partners every night.

-Mr. Maraczek, I -- -Or even every other night.

You just think it's necessary.

Well, here they are!

-What? -It's a little surprise for you.

-Oh! What is it? -It's a genuine leather box that -- wait, listen.

[ Music box playing ] Isn't that lovely?

Well, here, you try it.

-You, uh -- [ Music box playing ] [ Both chuckling ] -I dunno, uh... Uh...what else does it do?

-What do you mean, what else? It's a genuine leather musical cigarette box, at only ten and six -- how's that for a bargain?

-But who's going to buy this? -Oh, I can see you're in a difficult mood today -- let's ask some of the other people around here, get their honest opinion.

Mr. Si-- Mr. Kodaly? -Yes, sir!

-Will it sell? -I can't imagine why not, sir.

[ Music box playing ] -I'd even go further -- I think this will make music lovers out of cigarette smokers, and cigarette smokers out of music lovers.

-Thank you, Mr. Kodaly! -You're welcome, sir.

-All right, Georg, I'll make you a bet -- I'll bet you ten and six we sell the first of these boxes within one hour. -I don't want to take your money, sir -- -Oh, ten and six, one hour, no more, no less, is it a bet?

-Well, I think that'd be very irresponsible -- -He's not so confident now.

-Oh-ho-ho, it's a bet!

-Oh, you will pay through the nose, you will pay through the nose!

Good day, madam. May I help you?

-I'd like a large tube of Mona Lisa.

-Mona Lisa cold cream? Certainly, madam.

[ Music box playing ] Isn't that a lovely melody?

-Is seven and four the largest size, or is there a larger? -We also have a nine and six.

-I'd like to see it. -This is a musical cigarette box. -Do you carry Flowers of Spring in the one-ounce bottle?

-The one-ounce bottle? Certainly.

Mr. Sipos, your customer. -Yes, sir.

Over here, madam.

[ Door chimes ] Good day, madam!

May I help you?

[ Music box playing ] -Who do I see about returning a jar of sour face cream?

-Mr. Kodaly? Your customer.

-Right this way, madam.

[ Door chimes ] [ Cheering and applause ] -Good day, madam, may I help you?

-No. Oh, yes!

-Uh, we have a complete stock of perfumes, soaps, shampoos -- -No. -Bath oils, bath salts -- -No -- -Cold creams, face creams, nail polishes -- -No -- -Brushes -- hard, soft, and medium.

-Ooh! No. -Toilet water! We have a special this week only on Roses of Italy.

Here, I'll show it to you. -Thursday? Good.

I'll stop by for it. -Thank you very much, madam.

♪ Thank you, madam, please call again, do ♪ ♪ Call again, madam -Let me spray a little on your hand.

-No. -No?

-Actually, you see, I'm not going to buy any.

Not today -- I'm not going to buy anything.

Is Mr. Maraczek here? -He's in the back room.

-May I speak with him, please? -Perhaps I can help you?

-I don't think so.

-Well, he's quite busy. -Then I'll wait.

I don't mind, really. I'll just sit right here, quietly, and wait till he's free.

-Um, may I ask the nature of your business?

-I think I better speak with Mr. Maraczek personally.

-Very well, may I have your name, please?

-Balash -- Amalia Balash.

-Very well, Miss Balash, I'll tell him you're here.

-Uh, just one thing -- Miss Horvath, who used to work here -- the one who's having a baby -- she hasn't been replaced yet, has she?

-Are you looking for a job?

[ Laughs incredulously ] -I guess you could call it that, yes!

But I'm a very good sales girl, really.

Very good, and I know the parfumerie business inside and out -- I worked at Hammerschmidt's five years.

Five years and eight months.

And they were always very satisfied with me.

I have a letter here from Mr. Hammerschmidt himself.

It's somewhere here.

It says, 'Miss Balash is honest, dependable, dedicated' -- ooh, dedicated. [ Laughs ] It is here somewhere! 'She also has an abundance of those qualities which go toward making a superior salesperson, I highly recommend her, signed, Herman Hammerschmidt.'

Oh! Here, ugh.

[ Laughs ] -Uh, well, I'm sure it's just as you say, but unfortunately, we are not replacing Miss Horvath right now, so if you wouldn't mind leaving your name -- -Balash.

Amalia Balash. -Right! And if anything should come up -- -I'd like to speak to Mr. Maraczek, please. -I'm afraid if it's only about a job -- -Oh, please!

-I'm sorry, it just can't be done.

-What can't be done? At Maraczek's, nothing is impossible. Perhaps I can help you -- -She wants a job.

-What?! -I know this business inside and out, I worked at Hammerschmidt's!

-I'm sorry. -I have a letter! Here!

From Mr. Hammerschmidt himself! -It's out of the question -- -I am honest! Dependable! Dedicated!

-Oh, really, Georg, can't you handle this sort of thing without calling me in on it?

-But I'm a very good sales girl! -If you will excuse me, I -- -No, really, I am, I'm very good!

I -- Aren't these marvelous boxes?

[ Laughter ] And only ten and six! Can you imagine?

-What are they for? -Ah... [ Laughter ] Candy. -Candy?! -Why, yes, madam! It's the latest thing!

And just look at the workmanship!

[ Music box playing ] [Amalia gasps then laughs ] [ Laughter ] -A musical candy box? -Why, certainly, madam.

It combines the three elements of good taste -- attractive to the eye, attractive to the ear, and functional. -How functional?

-How?

Well...let me tell you.

This little box has been a lifesaver to many, many women with a slight tendency to overweight. And don't we all!

We sit at home, reading a good book or listening to a symphony, and without even realizing it, our hand slips into the candy box.

[ Music box playing ] ♪ We become indiscreet ♪ Eating sweet after sweet ♪ Though we know all too well ♪ Where that may lead ♪ So this box was designed ♪ With the two of us in mind ♪ As the kind of reminder ♪ We need ♪ When you raise the lid ♪ The music plays ♪ Like a disapproving nod ♪ And it sings in your ear ♪ 'No more candy, my dear!'

♪ In a way, it's a little like ♪ The voice of God -I'll take it! -Oh! Thank you, madam!

-If you'll step right over here, please, that'll be three and eight for the large jar of face cream.

-And ten and six for the box. Thank you, madam!

Thank you very much. -You're hired, Miss -- -Balash. Amalia Balash.

-Miss Balash, welcome to Maraczek's.

And now, Mr. Nowack, if you please.

-Fourteen and four, fourteen and five, fifteen.

-Your packages, madam! [ Door chimes ] -♪ Thank you, madam, please call again, do ♪ ♪ Call again, madam [ Applause ] ♪ ♪ ♪ [ Chuckling ] ♪ -♪ Dear friend ♪ When the day brings petty aggravations ♪ ♪ And my poor frayed nerves are all askew ♪ ♪ I forget these unimportant matters ♪ ♪ Pouring out my hopes and dreams to you ♪ ♪ As I rest my pen and look around me ♪ ♪ I can see the summer disappear ♪ ♪ Oh, dear friend ♪ All at once ♪ Autumn's here!

-Good morning, Miss Ritter. -Good morning, Arpad!

-Look!

Autumn!

-Ah, good morning, Ilona.

Here you are on this first October day, the quintessence of autumn.

I do hope you've forgiven me about our little misunderstanding last night, I just can't bear it when we quarrel.

Can you, darling, truthfully?

-Go to hell.

♪ -♪ Dear friend ♪ With November just around the corner ♪ ♪ I've a feeling you may also share ♪ ♪ Do you feel an undertone of discord ♪ ♪ And a sense of tension in the air? ♪ -Mr. Nowack, must this sidewalk always be covered with leaves?

-Uh, no, sir, but, uh, Mr. Maraczek -- Mr. Maraczek -- [ Embarrassed chuckle ] ♪ If it weren't for your endearing letters ♪ ♪ I'd be flying south with all the geese! ♪ ♪ By the way ♪ Have you read ♪ 'War and Peace'? ♪ -Good morning, Mr. Nowack.

-Ah, I see you're on time today, Miss Balash, congratulations.

-So sorry to disappoint you. -Oh, but I'm not disappointed.

Far from it, let's just call it surprised.

[ Snide chuckles ] ♪ -They always argue -- why is that?

-Eh, simple chemical reaction. You see, sometimes when two people like each other very much -- -They like each other? -I think so.

-They like each other very much?

Well, don't you think we should tell them?

-Arpad, my boy, they'd never believe us.

-Oh, look!

Winter!

[ Laughter ] ♪ -♪ Dear friend ♪ Have you set your calendar for Tuesday ♪ ♪ When we bring this... [Both] ♪ Chapter to a close?

♪ When I meet my lady of the letters ♪ ♪ Who puts tiny faces in her O's? ♪ ♪ In the freezing weather of December ♪ ♪ I'll be warmly waiting for our date ♪ ♪ Until then ♪ Count the hours -- Oh, I'm late for work!

I'm late!

♪ -Good morning! -Morning.

-Good morning. -Am I very late?

-No. -Did Mr. Nowack say anything?

-No. -Where is he?

-In the work room. -No.

-Oh, you're all new! The shoes, the dress, the hat!

-Oh, it's top to bottom!

I'm surprised you recognize me.

Do I look all right? -Oh, lovely! Wonderful!

Very nice! -Oh, yes, yes.

-Very nice. -Yes.

-It took me three hours to get dressed.

That's why I'm so late. -I have a feeling our little Miss Balash must be in love.

And you have a rendezvous with him this evening.

-How do you know? -Oh, Mr. Kodaly is an expert on love.

Which is really quite remarkable, considering he's never been in it.

-Good morning, Miss Balash.

-He didn't yell at me. What's wrong with him?

-Oh, he has other things on his mind.

Mr. Maraczek is very upset. -He is? Again?

-And you know who gets the worst of it.

-Mr. Nowack! -Yes, sir!

-You see this? -Yes.

-You know what it is. -Of course, it's a tube of Mona Lisa cold cream.

-Here, let's see you try it.

[ Gasps ] -It came out the back.

-I was under the impression it was your responsibility to see that the tubes are correctly filled.

If that responsibility is too much for you, Mr. Nowack... Or is it something wrong with the tubes?

Are they defective. -No, no, I don't think so.

-You don't think so. Then it wouldn't be asking too much for the cream to come out the right end?

-No, it would not be asking too much.

-Thank you, Mr. Nowack, that's all I wanted to know.

-Georg? Georg! Your coat!

There's still Mona Lisa on it.

-Oh! Oh, thank you! Thank you, Ladislav.

-You're so nervous I can feel you vibrating!

[ Laughs nervously ] -Oh, well, uh, it's, uh, it's a new suit.

I've never worn it to work before.

-Oh? What's the occasion?

-The biggest ever -- I'm meeting her tonight.

-The letter girl! You mean, face-to-face at last!

-Face-to-fact at last. -Well!

I just hope she lives up to your expectations.

-Can I tell you something, Ladislav? I hope she doesn't.

[ Laughs ] I mean, uh, I -- I hope she's not as beautiful as I think she is, or -- or as brilliant as I think she is, because then what will she think of me?

A very ordinary clerk in a very ordinary shop and a terrible liar.

-A liar?

-The things I wrote in those letters... -You lied?

-Well... -No wonder you're vibrating.

-♪ I'm nervous and upset ♪ Because this girl I've never met ♪ ♪ I get to meet tonight at eight ♪ ♪ I'm taking her for dinner at a charming old cafe ♪ ♪ But who can eat tonight at eight? ♪ ♪ It's early in the morning ♪ And our date is not till eight o'clock tonight ♪ ♪ And yet already I can see ♪ What a nightmare this whole day will be ♪ ♪ I haven't slept a wink, I only think ♪ ♪ Of our approaching tete-a-tete tonight at eight ♪ ♪ I feel a combination of depression and elation ♪ ♪ What a state! To wait till eight! ♪ ♪ Three more minutes, two more seconds ♪ ♪ Ten more hours to go!

♪ In spite of all I've written she may not be very smitten ♪ ♪ And my hopes, perhaps, may all collapse ♪ ♪ Kaput, tonight at eight ♪ ♪ I wish I knew exactly how I'll act ♪ ♪ And what will happen when we dine tonight at eight ♪ ♪ I know I'll drop the silverware ♪ ♪ But will I spill the water or the wine ♪ ♪ Tonight at eight?

♪ Tonight I'll walk right up and sit right down ♪ ♪ Beside the smartest girl in town ♪ ♪ And then it's anybody's guess ♪ ♪ More and more I'm breathing less and less! ♪ ♪ In my imagination I can hear our conversation ♪ ♪ Taking shape tonight at eight ♪ ♪ I'll sit there saying absolutely nothing ♪ ♪ Or I'll jabber like an ape ♪ Tonight at eight!

♪ Two more minutes, three more seconds ♪ ♪ Ten more hours to go!

♪ I'll know, when this is done if something's ended or begun ♪ ♪ And if it goes all right, who knows? ♪ ♪ I might propose ♪ Tonight at eight!

[ Cheering and applause ] ♪ -This is fun. I love Christmas wrapping!

-Oh, it certainly is a pleasant change.

You know, for the past month I've done practically nothing but fill those darn tubes of Mona Lisa?

[ Laughter ] -Well, what do you care? You're in love with a nice, eligible, young man -- pretty soon, you'll be able to kiss all this goodbye.

Tell me, what's he like?

Tell me all about him!

I love to suffer.

[ Laughter ] -Well -- -Is he tall?

-So-so. -So-so, six feet?

So-so, five feet? -I never measured.

-Color of hair? Color of eyes?

-Sandy hair, not really light, not really dark.

-And the eyes? -Bluish-greenish.

-Brownish? -A little.

-Is he handsome? -You know, it's funny, at times he is, and then again at times he's not.

-Well built? -Average.

-You want a piece of good advice?

Don't lose him in a crowd.

[ Laughter ] -Why... Oh, why am I such an unconvincing liar?

The fact is, I've never met him.

Ever, really. -Never?

-That's why I don't know if he's tall, wide, short, narrow, pink, green, or even what his name is.

-Well, you mean all this fuss is just for a blind date?

My God, you're even more desperate than I am!

-It's not a blind date.

I know him. -How?

-Letters!

Many, many letters.

-You belong to a lonely hearts club?! -I have never done that sort of thing before.

I'd seen the advertisements in the papers.

-Well, who hasn't? 'Young man wants young lady, young lady want's young man.'

-But I'd never taken them seriously.

Until one day, I saw his advertisement.

Even then, I tried not to answer it, really.

But it kept calling out to me.

-He could be seventy-five!

-No. The advertisement says, 'young man.'

-You never even asked for a photograph!

-♪ I don't know his name or what he looks like ♪ ♪ But I have a much more certain guide ♪ ♪ I can tell exactly what he looks like ♪ ♪ Inside ♪ When I undertook this correspondence ♪ ♪ Little did I know I'd grow so fond ♪ ♪ Little did I know our views would so correspond ♪ ♪ He writes me what his feelings are ♪ ♪ On Shaw, Flaubert, Chopin, Renoir ♪ ♪ The more I read, the more I find ♪ ♪ We're one in mind and heart ♪ I know the kind of home we'd share ♪ ♪ The books, the prints, the music there ♪ ♪ A home, a life, that's warm and full ♪ ♪ And rich in love ♪ And art ♪ I don't need to see his handsome profile ♪ ♪ I don't need to see his manly frame ♪ ♪ All I need to know is in each letter ♪ ♪ Each long, revealing letter ♪ ♪ I couldn't know him better ♪ If I knew his name Oh, I know him so well, Ilona.

I know that he's a very successful person, and terribly well-educated, and he's gentle and kind, and soft spoken.

Ooh! I know all this about him, and so much more.

I've just never met him, that's all!

-♪ If he isn't too handsome, true it doesn't much matter ♪ -♪ He writes his deepest thoughts to me ♪ -♪ But his personal habits are more important than his looks ♪ -♪ On Swift, Vermeer, and Debussy ♪ -♪ Supposing he snores like a locomotive ♪ ♪ Supposing he grinds his teeth ♪ ♪ Supposing he's a knuckle cracker, Amalia ♪ -♪ On Maugham, Remarque, Dumas, Ducas, Dufy, Dufay, Defoe ♪ -♪ Good luck with your books! And another small detail ♪ ♪ That you haven't yet mentioned ♪ -♪ He thinks as I, he feels as I ♪ -♪ I am speaking of sex, dear, when you and he are all alone ♪ -♪ He shares the same ideas as I ♪ -♪ Come to think of it, maybe you're right ♪ ♪ Maybe it doesn't matter at that ♪ ♪ Maybe I'd do much better myself with a library card ♪ -♪ I'll never find a man who's so simpatico ♪ [ Laughter ] -♪ And a gramophone -♪ I know ♪ I don't need to see his handsome profile ♪ -♪ I was taken in by someone's profile ♪ -♪ I don't need to see his manly frame ♪ -♪ I was taken in by someone's frame ♪ -♪ All I need to know is in each letter ♪ -♪ How I could have used one ♪ Each -- -♪ Long revealing letter -♪ I couldn't know him better -♪ I hope you do much better -♪ If I knew his name -♪ I knew his name -♪ What's in a name?

[ Applause ] ♪ -Ah! Mr. Nowack! Perhaps you can help me?

-Yes, sir? -I'm looking for the Christmas decorations. I don't see them.

-Well, we have -- we haven't started them yet.

I was going to talk to you about in a day or two -- -Georg, I am sick and tired of you running to me like a baby on every little matter that comes up.

-Mr. Maraczek, that's not fair. -Excuse me, Georg -- -Kindly inform all the employees they'll have to stay late tonight.

Now, is that clear, even to you?

-Uh, uh, it's perfectly clear, but I'm afraid I can't stay, I have an appointment -- -Excuse me!

-I can stay tomorrow night, Thursday night, Friday?

-That won't be necessary -- I assure you, we'll get on splendidly without you.

Thank you, that's all.

-That's not all, Mr. Maraczek.

For the past month, I can't seem to do anything right -- everything has changed. What is it?

Is it you? Is it me?

If my work is bad now, it's been bad for the last 15 years!

Why the hell did you wait until now to start telling me?! -How dare you raise your voice in this shop!

[ Boxes clatter ] Clumsy idiot!

-You did that on purpose, didn't you?

-I had to stop that argument before you did something foolish like resigning. -Well, I'm not so sure I appreciate that.

-Oh, I didn't do it for you, Georg.

I did it for me.

Who knows, if you resign, your successor might take one look at me and ask himself, 'What's that oaf doing in this fancy parfumerie?'

-You are a very good clerk, Ladislav!

-I'm an idiot.

But at least I'm an idiot with a job.

♪ Call me fool ♪ That's all right with me ♪ Here's my rule ♪ Never disagree ♪ Where's my pride?

♪ Swallowed long ago ♪ Deep inside ♪ Where it doesn't show ♪ Bowing, scraping ♪ Nodding, beaming ♪ Always humble ♪ Not an ounce of self respect ♪ ♪ Yes, sir, yes, sir, you're so right, sir ♪ ♪ Black is white sir ♪ 'Scuse me while I genuflect ♪ ♪ How do I remain so calm and cheerful? ♪ ♪ How do I retain my piece of mind? ♪ ♪ Let me just explain my rationale ♪ ♪ It's all in your perspective ♪ ♪ Listen! Listen!

♪ To an old Hungarian philosophy ♪ ♪ ♪ I am only one ♪ Of several in a rather small parfumerie ♪ ♪ Which is only one of several in this city ♪ ♪ ♪ Which is one of many cities in this country, which ♪ ♪ Is only one ♪ Of many countries ♪ Which are on this continent ♪ Which is only one of seven on this not so special planet ♪ ♪ Which is one of many in our solar system ♪ ♪ Which is only one of many solar systems ♪ ♪ In this vast, and inconceivable affair ♪ ♪ That is the universe ♪ So, in this infinite, incomprehensible scheme ♪ ♪ If a dot called Maraczek should scream ♪ ♪ At a speck called Sipos, what on Earth does it matter? ♪ ♪ So, call me fool ♪ That's all right with me ♪ Here's my rule ♪ Never disagree ♪ Where's my pride?

♪ Swallowed long ago ♪ Deep inside ♪ Where it doesn't show ♪ Just maintain a true perspective ♪ ♪ And it's easy to avoid a clash of wills ♪ ♪ Just maintain a true perspective ♪ ♪ And make sure you're well supplied with stomach pills ♪ ♪ Let me put it bluntly ♪ I'm a coward ♪ With a wife and children to support ♪ ♪ Actually my creed is short and simple ♪ ♪ Five essential words Georg ♪ Do not ♪ Lose ♪ Your job!

[ Cheers and applause ] -Miss Ritter? Miss Ritter!

-What? -This is going to be a charge.

Here is the lady's name. -Oh, just a name?

After such a long conversation? No telephone number?

-I don't need it -- she's got mine.

-Oh, now that I have you all here, Miss Balash, Mr. Maraczek wants everyone to stay late tonight.

-Why? -To work on Christmas decorations, all right?

-I guess so. -Of course.

Good day, madam, may I help you?

-Mr. Nowack? Mr. Nowack, I can't stay!

-Why? -I have a date!

Ugh, you know I have a date.

[ Scoffs ] -I know no such thing!

-How can you say that? Why do you think I'm wearing these new clothes -- to trim a tree in?

-I'm only following Mr. Maraczek instructions.

-I can't stay! -You are not being very cooperative, Miss Balash.

-Well, why did he have to pick this one night?

[Gasps] Or, did pick it, Mr. Nowack, because you knew I had an appointment?! [ Door chimes ] -♪ Thank you, madam ♪ Please, call again, do call again, madam ♪ -You know, I find it quite depressing that anyone could hate me so much. -I do not hate you, Miss Balash!

But until you came here, this was a happy, peaceful place.

Now, the whole atmosphere's changed -- everyone's cranky, Mr. Maraczek's on the warpath... -That's not my fault! -The Mona Lisa's coming out the wrong end of the tubes! -And that's not my fault!

Is it?

-You've been filling them! -According to your instructions.

-Well -- -Ha.

-Can we not fight about this? Can we have a truce?

-Anytime, Mr. Nowack. After all, you're the one who always starts things.

-Oh, I'm the one?

-You have always resented me, from the first day I came here when I made you lose that bet to Mr. Maraczek -- for ten-and-six, was it?

To think that anyone could hate me so much just for ten-and-six! -That is nonsense!

-Or was it your male pride that got wounded because I went over your head?

Men always do seem to resent things like that.

I do not resent you, Miss Balash.

-Yes, you do. -Oh, for heaven's sake!

I do not resent you.

But if I did, I would have very good reason.

Can you deny you had not worked here for two weeks before you started making very public, very humiliating remarks about me? -Only because you were going around calling me 'Miss A-malia Balash.'

Miss Balash. Do you think I liked that?

-Do you think I liked you criticizing my socks, my ties, my fingernails?! -Much better.

-That must be the rudest, most difficult, worst-tempered girl in the world.

[ Door chimes ] -Good day, madam.

-May I help you? -Yes, I'd like to see lily-scented soap.

-Well, Mr. Nowack, hard at work as usual, I see.

[ Door chimes ] -Good day, ladies.

May I help you? -Have you made the arrangements about tonight? -Yes, sir.

Miss Ritter, Mr. Kodaly, and Mr. Sipos can all stay -- and Arpad, of course... -What about Miss Balash?

-She has an appointment.

-An appointment!

Well, I guess you could hardly prevail upon her to stay when you're not going to. -Any other night, Mr. Maraczek.

-There seem to be a great many things, Mr. Nowack, that interest you far more than your position here.

-Mr. Maraczek, I am devoted to this shop.

I could not work harder if I owned it.

-If you owned it!

Let me tell you something, my young friend -- no matter what you do, you will never get your hands on this shop!

Never! Not if I have to come down from heaven and stop you myself!

Is that clear? -Yes, perfectly clear.

-Now, get away from me! Just get away from me!

-Oh, I will get away -- and permanently!

-Can I take that as your resignation, Mr. Nowack?

-That is exactly what it is. -Very well.

-I accept it -- effective immediately!

Miss Ritter will have your final pay.

-Excuse me, is this the large size or the medium size?

-Uh, the large size. -Well, then, show me the medium.

And I haven't got all day. -Yes, madam.

-♪ I would like a cake of Castile soap ♪ ♪ And a powder puff shampoo -- is there a sale on? ♪ ♪ Let me have a hair net, bubble bath ♪ ♪ How much do you charge for your Mona Lisa? ♪ -Mr. Nowack, are you leaving?

-It should be good news for you, Miss Balash. Very good news.

I won't be arguing with you anymore.

I've just quit my job. -Why?

-Well, as a matter of fact, I didn't have much choice.

-I don't know what to say. -Then don't say anything.

Especially not that you're sorry.

Let's not end our relationship on that false note.

Goodbye, Miss Balash. -Mr. Nowack!

May the condemned woman have one last word?

[ Customers continue singing in background ] I never wished you harm. Ever.

Oh, you've got to believe that.

-I believe you, Miss Balash. And may I say, I sincerely hope you marry a very nice man and have many children.

And for the sake of my successor in this job, I hope it's soon!

-♪ Do you have a lotion good for soothing sensitive skin ♪ -♪ Goodbye, Georg ♪ Maraczek's won't be the same without you ♪ ♪ Sorry to see you go ♪ If I can ever help, let me know ♪ -♪ Do you have a lipstick guaranteed kiss-proof? ♪ -♪ Goodbye, Georg -♪ I wish there were time for a proper farewell ♪ ♪ But for now, good luck and goodbye, Georg ♪ ♪ So long, so long, please keep in touch ♪ ♪ Do keep in touch ♪ Won't you?

♪ ♪ ♪ -♪ Will he like me when we meet? ♪ ♪ Will the shy and quiet girl he's going to see ♪ ♪ Be the girl that he's imagined me to be? ♪ ♪ Will he like me?

♪ Will he like the girl he sees? ♪ ♪ If he doesn't will he know enough to know ♪ ♪ That there's more to me than I may always show? ♪ ♪ Will he like me?

♪ Will he know that there's a world of love ♪ ♪ Waiting to warm him?

♪ How I'm hoping that his eyes and ears ♪ ♪ Won't misinform him ♪ Will he like me?

♪ Who can say?

♪ How I wish that we could meet another day ♪ ♪ It's absurd for me to carry on this way ♪ ♪ I'll try not to ♪ Will he like me?

♪ He's just got to!

♪ When I am in my room alone and I write ♪ ♪ Thoughts come easily, words come fluently then ♪ ♪ That's how it is when I'm alone ♪ ♪ But tonight ♪ There's no hiding behind my paper and pen ♪ ♪ Will he know that there's a world of love ♪ ♪ Waiting to warm him?

♪ How I'm hoping that his eyes and ears ♪ ♪ Won't misinform him ♪ Will he like me?

♪ I don't know ♪ All I know is that I'm tempted not to go ♪ ♪ It's insanity for me to worry so ♪ ♪ I'll try not to ♪ Will he like me?

♪ He's just got to!

♪ Will he like me?

♪ Will he like me? ♪ ♪ [ Applause ] ♪ ♪ [ Telephone ringing ] -Maraczek's, may I help you?

Oh, yes, one moment please.

Mr. Maraczek, it's for you.

-I-I'll take it in my office.

-Ladislav, have you got a pack of icicles over there?

-Uh, I don't see any.

-Would you please ask Mr. Kodaly if he's got them?

-Miss Ritter would like to know if you've got her icicles.

-Icicles? Please tell her that's all I've been getting from her for several weeks.

-He says that -- -I heard him.

Why else would I be laughing so uncontrollably?

-Sipos, what do you think of a woman who goes with a man, tells him she loves him, and then suddenly drops him?

-Before you answer that, Ladislav, what do you think about a man who cancels three dates with a girl in a little over a week?

-A little over a week? -Eight days!

-I don't recall three dates. -You don't recall anything.

You never did. -You are so wrong. Ilona!

I recall our evenings together.

I recall them very well.

Our private little booth at the rathskeller.

Remember?

♪ Oh, come on, Ilona! -No.

-Let's go there tonight.

You always loved the rathskeller, the Chinese food, the gypsy fortune teller, and that rhumba band?

Ilona! ♪ Come with me ♪ Ilona ♪ I've missed you ♪ So much -Oh, God, no.

-♪ How I envy you each evening ♪ When work is through ♪ For I have only me to be with ♪ ♪ While you have you -No.

-♪ Without you, Ilona ♪ How cold my lonely life has grown ♪ ♪ Are you happy alone, Ilona? ♪ ♪ Ilona, my own!

-♪ Now that Kodaly is hard at play ♪ ♪ We'll never get out of here 'til New Year's Day ♪ ♪ So, happy new year!

-♪ Come with me, Ilona -No! -♪ Come with me, cherie ♪ Oh! Mistletoe, I long for someone ♪ ♪ Please tell me who ♪ Like some divine divining rod ♪ ♪ It points straight to you ♪ Remember, Ilona ♪ Those sunny nights we knew before ♪ ♪ If you'll just say the word ♪ Ilona ♪ We'll know them ♪ Once more -♪ If it was only up to me ♪ Guess who I would hang upon the Christmas tree ♪ -♪ This is where I came in, amen ♪ ♪ The fox and the chicken are a team again ♪ -Oh! No!

Ah! Yes!

♪ -♪ Together, Ilona ♪ We generate a spark that's rare ♪ ♪ Why deny that it's there, Ilona? ♪ ♪ You feel it ♪ I know ♪ Let's help it ♪ To glow ♪ [ Cheering and applause ] Ah!

-You really are a rat!

All right, we'll go to the rathskeller together, but you better have plenty of money because I'm starved.

Or is it going to be Dutch, as usual?

-No, no. No, no, no, no. My treat!

-You can all go home now. Go home.

-But the work isn't finished yet, sir.

-We'll have to do it some other time.

-Speaking for myself, Mr. Maraczek, I wouldn't mind staying a little longer.

You see, I'm in the rhythm of it now.

-No, I want everyone out as quickly as possible.

-Yes, sir. -Good night.

-Good night, Mr. Maraczek.

-It's only 9:30! -9:30?

-Arpad! -What?

-Good news! -What?

-You've been reprieved!

Mr. Maraczek says we can go.

-Oh, you're all ready! I'll just get my things.

Arpad, can you get them for me?

-Ilona, this is going to be a bit difficult to explain, but I'm afraid I won't be able to take you to the rathskeller after all.

-What? -I can't help myself, darling.

The fact is, I thought we were going to be working late tonight so I canceled a previous appointment.

But now that we're finished early I've just got to keep it.

You do understand, don't you -- darling?

-Trust me.

I promise you we'll go to the rathskeller another night soon. Let's see now, tonight is Tuesday... What about next Monday?

Ilona, cherie?

♪ -I resolve not to be so stupid.

-Will you keep Monday night open for me, darling?

-♪ I resolve not to play these games ♪ -All right, sweetheart?

-♪ How often I've been a sitting duck for cupid ♪ ♪ How often I've let him shoot me down in flames ♪ -Sweetheart, say it's all right?

-♪ I resolve not to be so trusting ♪ ♪ It's high time, time that I awoke ♪ ♪ Whatever I've got up here is up here rusting ♪ ♪ My feminine intuition is a joke! ♪ ♪ I must be cousin to a cat ♪ I always wind up with a rat ♪ ♪ I'm through with momentary thrills ♪ ♪ I find I can't afford the bills ♪ ♪ I resolve, come what may ♪ ♪ I will not be this girl ♪ One more day!

♪ I resolve ♪ Not to be so brainless ♪ I resolve ♪ Not to be so dumb ♪ My usual brush with love is far from painless ♪ ♪ And suddenly I have got to know how come ♪ ♪ I resolve ♪ Not to blame the others ♪ Just because ♪ I'm an easy mark ♪ I want to know why I never meet their mothers ♪ ♪ Where men are concerned I'm always in the dark ♪ ♪ I must stop thinking with my skin ♪ ♪ I will not be a mandolin ♪ That someone strums and puts away ♪ ♪ Until he gets the urge to play ♪ ♪ I resolve, here and now ♪ ♪ I will be a different girl ♪ ♪ Somehow!

[ Applause ] ♪ -Ladislav! Ladislav! -Georg!

-I have to talk to you.

Will you come with me to the Café Imperiale?

It's urgent. -The Café Imperiale?

-She will be sitting there all alone.

-Your lady friend? The one who writes the letters?

-Yes, yes, yes, yes. And on the table in front of her will be a copy of 'Anna Karenina' with a rose in it, and I will have a rose here -- -Oh, that's a very romantic picture, Georg.

Very romantic -- except for one thing... -One thing? -What am I doing there?

-Oh, I need you to give her this letter which explains I've been called out of town on urgent business, but I will write to her as soon as possible.

-She won't be disappointed?

-She would be more disappointed if she saw me the way that I am tonight. Will you give her this for me?

-Of course I will. -Please, please, we must hurry.

For all I know, she got tired of waiting and left long ago.

♪ [ Knocking at door ] ♪ -Mr. Keller. -Mr. Maraczek.

-Come in, please.

♪ -Do we talk here? -Everyone's gone.

-Well, as I told you on the phone, sir, we've completed our investigation... -Yes, yes. Who sent this to me?

-I'm afraid we don't know that.

Anonymous letters are difficult to track down.

But we have checked its contents.

As you'll see we've been following Mrs. Maraczek.

And there's no doubt -- she's involved with one of your clerks, just as the letter said.

-There's no doubt? -I'm sorry, sir.

-I've known all along. -I just...had to be sure.

-She's been going to his apartment, number 17 Court Street.

Each visit is listed.

Would you care to have us do an investigation of Mr. Kodaly?

-W-- Who?

Well, that's his name, Steven Kodaly.

-No, no, I -- -Steven Kodaly, number 17 Court Street -- -Kodaly!

It's... It's just that -- He hardly knows Mrs. Maraczek. And there's another clerk here, a clerk who's been to our house many times, and I thought -- naturally I thought... -If you'll read the report, sir.

-Yes, thank you.

-Will there be anything else?

Then I'll be saying good night.

-Good night, Mr. Keller.

-Yes. Good night, sir.

[ Door closes ] [ Telephone ringing ] -Maraczek, here.

Hello, love.

Yes, I know.

You'll be out late then?

I see.

Well, give her my best.

No, I just feel a little tired.

Of course. Of course!

No, I won't wait up.

So do I.

Bye-bye.

♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ -Mr. Maraczek?

Mr. Mara-- Don't! Don't, Mr. Maraczek!

[ Gunshot ] ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ [ Cheering and applause ] ♪ [ Applause ] -♪ Butterfingers, do that again ♪ ♪ That's the end of your career! ♪ How do you do, sir? How do you do, madam?

♪ Don't you know we try to preserve ♪ ♪ A romantic atmosphere?

Good to see you again, Mr. Liszt.

♪ That's what all our patrons expect ♪ ♪ So every jarring note will be ruthlessly checked ♪ ♪ Gently does it, try to preserve ♪ ♪ A romantic at-- [ Crashing ] Uh... ♪ -mosphere!

♪ Think of all the love affairs we assist ♪ ♪ What more noble calling is there than ours? ♪ ♪ Tending each new beautiful bud of love ♪ ♪ Making sure each delicate seedling flowers ♪ ♪ Treat each tryst and rendezvous as your own ♪ ♪ Bearing in mind the gravity of your task ♪ ♪ All these lovers want is one shining hour ♪ ♪ Is that such a terrible lot to ask? ♪ -Shh!

-♪ Look around and see for yourself ♪ ♪ The romantic atmosphere -Viktor... -Stefanie... -♪ That's what all our patrons demand ♪ ♪ That's the reason why they're here ♪ -Viktor... -Hugo... -♪ They all come here just for the mood ♪ ♪ And if you don't believe me try tasting our food ♪ ♪ That's why we have got to preserve ♪ ♪ A romantic atmosphere ♪ I see you!

[ Patrons talking over each other ] ♪ [ Screams ] [ Talking over each other ] ♪ -Oh, gosh! Miss I don't think this is the proper way to tango.

[ Squeals ] -Hey!

Hey! ♪ Hey, hey, hey!

Hey!

-Conga!

♪ -Where's Viktor?

♪ Greta!

♪ -Here's Viktor!

-Hey!

♪ -Hey!

Hey!

Hey! Hey!

Hey!

Hey! Hey!

♪ ♪ Whoa!

♪ [ Applause ] ♪ [ Music stops abruptly ] [ Laughter ] -♪ Such behavior won't be allowed ♪ ♪ But every now and then we just get the wrong crowd ♪ ♪ Gently does it, try to preserve ♪ ♪ A romantic atmos-- -Shh!

-♪ -sphere [ Crashing ] [ Applause ] ♪ -Where's the rose?

-What? -The rose. Where is it?

-Oh!

-That's a rose?

-It's been in my pocket all day.

-Let me have it.

-Oh, no, no, no! -You've gone this far, go the rest of the way. -No no no.

Just give her the letter, please, and thank you, Ladislav, I really appreciate it. -Wait!

At least... take a look at her.

-You look.

♪ ♪ Nope.

♪ [ Laughter ] ♪ Ahh... -She's old.

She's old and ugly and toothless, isn't she?

-I wouldn't say so.

-Well, there must be something wrong with her, terribly wrong!

-Why? -I can see it in your face!

-No, no, the fact is she's a -- a very attractive girl.

[ Giggles ] -She really is?

-Absolutely. -But will I think so?

Of course, that's a matter of personal taste.

Let's see, uh... Who does she look like?

[ Laughter ] -Oh! Some film star?

-No, no, no. Let me think. Uh... More than anyone else, I'd say she looks like someone in the shop.

-In our shop? -As a matter of fact, you know who? Miss Balash.

She looks... very much like her.

Miss Ba-- Miss A-malia Balash?

But I thought you said 'attractive'! -Well, think so, but if you don't care for Miss Balash, you're certainly not going to like this girl.

[ Laughter ] -They're that similar?! -See for yourself.

♪ [ Laughter ] ♪ [ Laughter ] -You're just going to leave her there?! -What do you suggest, huh? Wh-wh-what, that I tell her I'm the poor fool who's written all those letters? She would make me the laughingstock of the entire city!

-How?! She wrote some too!

'Dear Friend: I took you out of the box, I cut you open,' and so on.

[ Laughter ] -It's impossible! -What?

-She did not write those letters! She couldn't have!

-So you think it's just a coincidence?

She just happens to like this café, she just happens to be reading 'Anna Karenina,' she just happens to be using a rose as a bookmark in December!

-But -- but -- but it's Miss Balash!

I can't be in love with Miss Balash!

-How do you know until you try? -I know her!

There's some mistake, Ladislav. There's got to be.

-Well then, talk to her. Find out.

-No... No... No, sh-she's not Dear Friend. She's not. She can't be!

Can she?

♪ [ Laughter ] ♪ -Aah!

Unh... [ Laughter, applause ] -Miss Balash! -Mr. Nowack!

What are you doing here? -Celebrating! How about you?

-I'm waiting for someone. -Oh! Uh... Uh... Anyone in particular? - Yes, of course!

What kind of a girl do you think I am?

-Oh -- -Oh, never mind, Mr. Nowack.

I know.

-May I sit down for a minute? -No, no.

I'm afraid not. -You won't help me celebrate?

-Celebrate? -My freedom, Miss Balash!

Just think of it! Tomorrow is Wednesday, and I can sleep in as late as I like.

-No! Mr. Nowack, I told you that chair happens to be reserved.

-You won't even have just one quick drink with me?

-No, I can't! -One small, farewell drink?

-Well, if it's very small and very quick.

-Thank you, Miss Balash.

-All right... All right! -Tut-tut-tut-tut!

Well, here's to Maraczek's parfumerie and all the people who work there.

And all the people who used to work there, and all the customers -- -And that covers everything!

-Eh.

Ooh, good wine.

-Mr. Nowack, are you spying on me?

-Spying? -Did you come here to make sure I really had a date, and that I wasn't just inventing an excuse not to work tonight?

-Miss Balash, who would I be spying for?

Maraczek? -Mr. Nowack, if you do not leave this table immediately, I'm going to have to call for the waiter.

-Yes, madam? -Oh! Ah.

Ah, there you are.

-May I put a word in?

Just one little word?

The Café Imperiale is a rendezvous for lovers.

Look around you.

We try to preserve a romantic atmosphere.

And I find it very difficult, madam, when you and your husband insist on fighting right in the middle of it.

Can't you argue at home?

[ Laughter ] -No! No, this is not my husband!

This is a business associate.

-Well!

Talk [ Laughter and applause ] Someplace else.

Eesh!

[ Nowack chuckling ] [ Clears throat ] -You, um - you say you're meeting someone here?

Someone you've known very long? -Mr. Nowack, will you leave?

-It just doesn't seem right for a man to keep a girl waiting all alone in such a public place!

-Will you please leave? -Even if he is an old friend.

A dear friend -- -I don't wish to discuss this with you, Mr. Nowack.

♪ -What is the name of that tune?

My mother used to sing it when I was a baby.

-So did mine.

[ Laughs ] -Miss Balash, do you realize we've just found something in common.

At one time, we were both infants.

[ Laughter ] -Yes, but I grew up.

[ Laughter ] I believe it's called 'Tango Tragique.'

-What if he's already been here and seen us together and gone?

I will never forgive you!

-What is this? -No! Put that back!

-'Anna Karenina'? -Yes. It's a book.

By Leo Tolstoy, a Russian. Will you put it back, please?

-And what's this for? -No, that's none of your business! -Miss Balash!

Could it be that you've never even met this man?

-That's ridiculous! -Of course it is.

And yet, you know, some girls, and some men, do make appointments with strangers.

And sometimes, oh, it turns out rather well.

And on the other hand, sometimes it turns out not so well.

I remember a girl I used to know.

She was writing to someone through a... What -- oh! Lonely hearts club.

They corresponded for some time then decided to meet up.

I seem to recall she was to have a flower in her book and he was to have that same flower in his lapel.

And they did recognize each other, I guess.

The next day the police found her left leg floating in the Danube.

[ Laughter ] And, you know, they never did find the rest of her.

Or her book.

[ Groans ] -♪ At the count of five, I'll scream ♪ ♪ So you'd better go, and soon! ♪ -One! -I just want to talk to you.

-♪ Don't forget I've had some wine ♪ ♪ And nothing to eat since noon ♪ Two! -Miss Balash, are you intoxicated?

-♪ Dante once described ♪ All the depths of hell ♪ If I have my way ♪ You will know them well! Three!

-Miss Balash! ♪ You are easily the most ♪ Insensitive man alive!

-I'm surprised at you! -I'm sorry.

♪But I'm fighting for my life! Four!

Four-and-a-half! Will you go?

♪ Then five! [ Screams ] -♪ Are you trying to ruin me, lady? ♪ ♪ I warned you, get out! -What?

-♪ That's all, get out! -Wait a minute -- -♪ You too, get out! -You don't understand -- -♪ Screaming like lunatics! That's all, get out! ♪ -How dare you speak to a lady that way!

-Ladies don't scream in cafes!

Shh!

-Well I'm afraid you don't quite understand.

You see, there was a fly in the wine.

-What?

-I said, -Shh!

Where is it? Show it to me.

-Oh, I-I'm afraid that's quite impossible.

You see, the lady here... swallowed it.

[ Coughs ] [ Laughter ] -She swallowed... -Wouldn't you scream?

-Good God!

[ Laughter ] -Really.

Mr. Nowack... no matter how much you might despise me or how unhappy you are, haven't you had enough revenge?

I don't understand you.

-How could you, Miss Balash?

You have never listened to me.

You have never really looked at me.

-Ugh, how wrong you are, Mr. Nowack.

I'm looking at you now.

Shall I tell you what I see?

A smug, pompous, petty tyrant, very sure of himself and very ambitious.

But I see him ten years from now selling shampoo.

And twenty years from now selling shampoo.

And thirty years from now still selling shampoo -- because, basically, do you know what he is?

Just a not-very-smart, not-very-handsome, not-very-young man with balding hair and the personality of a python!

Mr. Nowack... I didn't mean all those things.

Mr. Nowack!

-Don't call him!

He'll come back.

It's almost closing time.

Closing time? No.

I'm still waiting for someone.

He'll have a rose in his lapel -- -To match the one in your book?

-Mm-hmm. -How late is he?

-Over two hours.

-You're a very patient young lady.

-I have waited for him all my life.

What's two hours?

-This one is on the house -- for luck.

-Oh! Thank you.

You know, this is a very nice café. -We try to preserve a romantic atmosphere.

[ Dishes crashing ] Uh-huh.

[ Laughter ] ♪ -♪ The flowers, the linen, the crystal I see ♪ ♪ Were carefully chosen for people like me ♪ ♪ The silver agleam and the candles aglow ♪ ♪ Your favorite songs on request ♪ ♪ Each colorful touch in the finest of taste ♪ ♪ And notice how subtly the tables are spaced ♪ ♪ The music is muted, the lighting is low ♪ ♪ No wonder I feel so ♪ Depressed [ Laughter ] ♪ Charming, romantic, the perfect café ♪ ♪ Then as if it isn't bad enough a violin starts to play ♪ ♪ Candles and wine, tables for two ♪ ♪ But where are you ♪ Dear friend?

♪ Couples go past me, I see how they look ♪ ♪ So discreetly sympathetic when they see the rose and the book ♪ ♪ I make believe nothing is wrong ♪ ♪ How long can I pretend?

♪ Please, make it right ♪ Don't break my heart ♪ Don't let it end ♪ Dear friend -We're closing up.

-So soon?

-It looks like your friend didn't get here.

-I'm sure there's a very good reason.

-Then he'll write to you, and you can patch it up.

And I hope you'll be very happy.

-Thank you.

♪ Will you tell me something?

You've seen so many of these cases.

Does it ever happen that the girl is here and the young man arrives and looks at her secretly and just goes away, without explaining or writing?

Does that ever happen?

-Sometimes.

And sometimes she looks at him and she goes away.

-How heartbreaking that must be.

-Well, you don't have to worry.

You're a nice, presentable girl.

Not a beauty-contest winner... [ Laughter ] But you should see some of the others.

[ Laughter ] ♪ ♪ I make believe ♪ Nothing is wrong How long can I pretend? ♪ ♪ Please, make it right ♪ Don't break my heart ♪ Don't let it end ♪ Dear friend [ Applause ] [ Cheering and applause ] [ 'Entr'acte' playing ] [ Music continues ] [ Music continues ] [ Knock on door ] -Come in.

-I'm back.

-Good. You can take this away.

Thank you.

[ Sighs ] -Well, I did everything you told me to.

-You went to the shop. -Here's the key.

-What did you tell them about last night?

-That you shot yourself accidentally.

You were cleaning your gun. -Good.

-Then I delivered your message to Mr. Nowack.

Well, that is, I left it with his landlady. He was out.

-Very good. -Oh, there's something else.

Ms. Balash is sick. Her mother called us.

She won't be in today.

And that's everything.

-Arpad, you're a credit to your profession.

-Thank you, Mr. Maraczek.

You know, I'm not afraid of responsibility.

I welcome it.

In fact, I'd welcome a lot more.

-I'll keep it in mind.

-And I can't help thinking, Christmas is almost here.

All that Christmas shopping -- We're going to be very short-handed in the shop.

-We'll have to manage.

-But one more clerk would certainly come in handy.

-What is it?

You know someone who wants a job?

-Mr. Maraczek, you've got to stop thinking of me as just a delivery boy.

In a suit with a tie, I look old.

And I've been training myself to be a sales clerk -- training hard for two years.

-What, you've been training?

[ 'Try Me' playing ] -♪ I have trained myself, going shelf by shelf ♪ ♪ And I know every item in the store ♪ ♪ Every tube, jar, box, bottle, carton, and container ♪ ♪ Where they are, what they cost ♪ ♪ What they're for ♪ Although it's something you have never thought about ♪ ♪ Mr. Maraczek, try me ♪ You need a man who knows the business inside out ♪ ♪ Mr. Maraczek, try me ♪ You need help, or I'd have never spoken ♪ ♪ And why break someone in when I'm already broken? ♪ ♪ In this emergency, I wouldn't let you down ♪ ♪ Mr. Maraczek, try me ♪ Now, I can see by the uncertain way you frown ♪ ♪ That you've asked yourself, 'Why me?' ♪ ♪ For first-class clerking and conscientious working ♪ ♪ Mr. Maraczek, why not try me? ♪ -All right.

This cream is sour. Very sour.

Take it back.

-♪ You wish to return this jar, madam ♪ ♪ Certainly, right you are, madam ♪ ♪ You say it smells like a drowned cat ♪ [ Sniffs ] ♪ Oh, it does, at that ♪ At Maraczek's, madam, we claim with pride ♪ ♪ The customer must be satisfied ♪ ♪ The customer must be satisfied ♪ ♪ Oh, by the way, we have a special sale on Autumn Heather ♪ ♪ Let me spray some on your hand ♪ ♪ Here, we'll smell it together ♪ [ Sniffs ] ♪ It has the three elements of good perfume ♪ ♪ Attractive to the nose ♪ Invisible to the eye, and functional ♪ ♪ My wife has used it time and again ♪ ♪ It's very appealing to us men ♪ ♪ I use it myself every now and then ♪ -I'll take it. -Certainly, madam.

Oh, Ms. Ritter!

[ Clears throat ] [ Deep voice ] ♪ Ms. Ritter [ Normal voice ] ♪ That's 20 and 6 for the Autumn Heather ♪ ♪ 8 and 3 for the cream ♪ 32 even for that bottle of Mermaid's Dream ♪ ♪ 1 and 3 for the eyebrow pencil ♪ ♪ 9 for the large shampoo ♪ And then, for the jar you're bringing back ♪ ♪ That's 4 and 2 for you ♪ That's a total of 98, less 4 and 2 for the jar ♪ ♪ Out of 100?

[ Gasps ] Cha-ching.

♪ Here's your change, 5 and 2 ♪ ♪ There you are ♪ The biggest sale in several years, I believe ♪ ♪ Thank you, madam, please call again ♪ ♪ Glad I could help, here is my card ♪ ♪ Thank you, madam, please call again ♪ ♪ Do call again ♪ Madam ♪ I would gladly grow a mustache if you like ♪ ♪ Mr. Maraczek, try me -Oh, no.

-♪ And I would even think of giving up my bike ♪ ♪ Mr. Maraczek, try me ♪ For first-class clerking and conscientious working ♪ ♪ Mr. Maraczek, why not try me? ♪ [ Cheers and applause ] -Very impressive.

You event managed to short-change me.

-Mr. -- Mr. Maraczek!

-Oh, Georg. -What happened?! -He shot himself accidentally. He was cleaning his gun.

-Arpad, will you please leave us alone?

-Are you in very much pain, Mr. Maraczek?

-The only place that doesn't hurt me is my shoulder, where I shot myself.

-Is -- Is there anything I can do?

-First, have to do something, something very important.

If I could stand up, you know what I'd do?

I'd walk over and take you by the hand and beg you to forgive me.

-I forgive you, Mr. Maraczek.

Whatever happened, why ever it happened, I don't care!

-You can't let me off that easily.

I did a terrible thing to you, and there's no excuse.

Well, there's one excuse -- the jealously of an old man.

-Jealousy?

-Oh, Georg. You're still in the dark.

I guess you're the only man in the world who ever had an affair without knowing it.

-An -- What?! An affair!

-You've been having an affair with my wife.

-With your wife? With Mrs. Maraczek?

-Yes. I have all the facts.

-No, no, no! But it's not true!

-I know it's not true!

[ Laughter ] I know now, but last week and two weeks ago, I didn't know.

-I don't believe it! Mrs. Maraczek and I... Did you really think that I would do something like -- -That's just the point! I didn't think.

-I can't get over it.

-Well, Georg.

Starting today, if you're willing, I'd like you to take over the shop.

-Well, of course I will, and at -- at least keep the doors open until you're well enough to come back.

-There's the key.

And now that you're the boss, if you wanted to give yourself a raise... -Well, I'll have a little talk with myself.

[ Laughter ] And if I don't ask for too much, I may grant it.

-The perfect executive. Now, you better get going.

You'll be very short-handed today.

-Arpad tells me Ms. Balash isn't coming in.

-Ms. Balash? Why not? -She's sick.

-What's wrong with her? -He didn't say, but you'll have to manage without her and without one other clerk as well -- Mr. Kodaly.

I want you to fire him. -Fire him?! -Just give him two weeks' salary.

-I didn't realize Mr. Kodaly was so unsatisfactory.

He works very hard.

-At the wrong things.

-I'm -- I'm not sure I understand.

-Well, if you ever run into Mrs. Maraczek, perhaps she'll explain it to you.

And, Georg, it looks like I'm a bachelor again, same as you.

Perhaps one night you'll take me to a cabaret.

-But I don't go to them.

-I know you never go to cabarets.

-[ Laughs ] I'll stop by later, and I'll give you a full report.

-Thank you, my boy.

I'll be here.

-Oh.

[ Laughter ] [ Applause ] -Arpad.

-Have you been thinking about me as a sales clerk?

-Quite seriously.

But you're so attached to your bicycle.

How could you ever bear to part with it?

-Well, what if I didn't part with it?

Altogether, I could be half delivery boy, half clerk.

-Arpad, you've just made a sale.

-I did? -As of right now.

-Thank you, Mr. Maraczek. Thank you!

-And I guess we can't call you Arpad anymore.

I don't think I ever knew your last name.

You do have a last name? -Laszlo.

-Welcome to Maraczek's, Mr. Laszlo.

-Mr. Laszlo.

Mr. Laszlo.

-You better get going. -I'm on my way.

And you can count on me.

Goodbye, Mr. Maraczek.

-Goodbye, Arpad.

[ Laughter ] [ 'Days Gone By' plays ] ♪ All night ♪ Circling the floor ♪ Until dawn lit up the sky [ Applause ] ♪ ♪ [ Knocking on door ] -Who's there? -Ms. Balash?

-Who is it? -Ms. Balash.

-Oh, just a minute.

Oh, Mr. Nowack.

[ Laughter ] -I was in the neighborhood.

-What do you want?

Did you think of something you forgot to say last night?

Well, say it, please, and get it over with.

I'm not feeling very well today.

-Um... [ Clears throat ] Uh, yes, I know you're not. That's why I'm here.

-You knew I was sick?

How?

-Well, this may come as quite a shock to you, Ms. Balash, but the fact is I'm back at Maraczek's again.

-Back at Maraczek's? -As of this morning.

-And you've come here to see if I'm really sick.

[ Laughter ] Is that it? -No!

-So that you can tell everyone there's not a thing wrong with me.

-No, I -- -That I just don't care about my job.

-No. -Well, Mr. Nowack, you are not going to have that chance.

What time is it? I won't be very late.

[ 'Where's My Shoe?' playing ] ♪ Where's my other shoe?

♪ Help me find my other shoe ♪ Don't just stand there like that ♪ ♪ Where's my shoe?

-♪ I think you should lie down -♪ Help me find my shoe ♪ I can't leave until I do ♪ Will you give me my hat ♪ Where's my shoe?

-♪ Please, Ms. Balash, lie down ♪ -♪ I hate to disappoint you ♪ Now that you've got your hopes up ♪ ♪ Thrilled to be doing something mean ♪ -♪ Ms. Balash, do be sensible -♪ Just tell me if it's cold out ♪ ♪ Come help me pick a sweater ♪ I can't decide on white or green ♪ -♪ Now, Ms. Balash, you're sick and you ought to lie down ♪ -Oh! ♪ Where'd you put my shoe?

♪ That's a sneaky thing to do ♪ You don't want me to go, do you? ♪ ♪ I can see right through you ♪ Where's my shoe?

-♪ You shouldn't be on your feet ♪ -♪ Where's my shoe?

-♪ Be a good girl and go -♪ My right -♪ Back to -♪ If I were a shoe, where would I have gotten to? ♪ ♪ Well, if I were a shoe, I'd be there ♪ -♪ Please, Ms. Balash, lie down ♪ -♪ Is it very cold?

♪ Yes, you told me it was cold ♪ Tell me, what kind of dress should I wear? ♪ -♪ You have fever, I think -♪ I couldn't wear a sweater ♪ That wouldn't suit my mood now ♪ ♪ I feel like wearing something gay ♪ -♪ Ms. Balash, you're hysterical ♪ -♪ I'm feeling so much better ♪ I feel so gay and giddy ♪ One shoe, and I'll be on my way ♪ -♪ You are going to bed, which is where you belong ♪ -♪ See? There is nothing wrong with me ♪ ♪ I am going, you can't stop me ♪ ♪ Stop it, now, please drop me ♪ ♪ Put me down -♪ No, you're not leaving this room ♪ -♪ Where's my shoe?

-♪ You're going nowhere ♪ But back to bed -♪ Where's my shoe?

[ Cheers and applause ] [ Sobbing ] -I've, uh -- I've, uh -- I've brought you something.

-What? -Here, see for yourself.

-What is it? -Vanilla ice cream.

[ Laughter ] It's the best thing in the world when you're sick.

-Oh, it's from Lindner's!

My mother works at Lindner's.

She may have waited on you.

-A small, stout woman? -Oh, no.

The image of me, everyone says, only much younger looking.

[ Sobbing ] [ Laughter ] There's something wrong with this ice cream.

-There is? -There's so much salt.

-Well, are you -- are you surprised, all those tears falling into it?

-Oh, I better cry in the other direction.

[ Laughter ] -You... [ Applause ] -[ Sobbing continues ] -Why?

Why -- Why -- Why -- Why cry at all?

-How little you understand, Mr. Nowack.

I'm like a rag-doll.

Somebody's kicked out the stuffing.

-Oh, no, no, no, no!

You'll soon fill up again, good as new.

-You're looking at a very disillusioned girl, Mr. Nowack.

-You know, Ms. Balash, I will never forgive myself for last night at the café. I-I must have been drunk.

-But strangely enough, you were right, Mr. Nowack, when you guessed that I'd never met the man I was waiting for.

He was just someone who had been writing letters to me.

Such glorious letters.

[ Sobs ] [ Laughter ] -And he never showed up.

-I waited until closing.

-I feel very responsible. -No.

It wasn't just you, Mr. Nowack.

There could have been so many reasons.

But if he cared at all, he would have explained.

He would've written a letter or a note to us -- something.

-Ms. Balash, he will write! -I don't think so.

-Oh, no, no, no. He will. I'm not just guessing.

[ Laughter ] I know it definitely.

-How?

-He told me himself.

-He -- Himself? -Yes. Yes, yes.

Dear Friend, no one else.

-Dear Friend? When?! How! Oh, tell me!

Mr. Nowack, tell me!

[ Breathes shakily ] -Well, let's see now.

Uh... Uh... Oh! Oh! Oh!

Uh -- Uh, when I left the café last night, I had the oddest feeling that someone was following me, and I kept looking back, and there was a -- -A young man.

-A man.

And when I was almost home, he came up, and he started asking questions about you and me.

-Oh, what sort of questions?

-Uh, just, uh, what you'd -- exactly what you would expect.

-No, no, no. I want to know the words he said.

-I'm -- I'm not very good at remembering exact words, so -- [ Laughter ] -Try.

Please.

-[ Breathing heavily ] Well, let's see.

Uh... Uh, I-I think the first thing he said was, 'Excuse me, but I'd like to ask you a question.'

Or something like that.

And, uh -- And then he said, 'Did you just leave the Café Imperiale?'

Do you want to know what I said, too?

-Of course. -All right. I said, 'Yes.'

-Oh. And then?

-He -- He said, 'Tell me.'

Uh -- Uh, 'Tell me, that girl that you were sitting with, is she a special friend of yours?'

Those were his exact words -- special friend!

I said, 'No, no, no, no.

We just work at the same shop together.

As a matter of fact, she has an appointment with someone else tonight.' -Oh.

-I'm remembering very clearly now.

-Eeh! -And -- And then, I remember, he suddenly looked quite sad.

-He looked sad? -Quite sad.

And then he said, 'I know she has an appointment.

It was with me.

But I have to take the next train out of town on urgent business.'

-Urgent business.

Is he a manufacturer, do you think, or a shop owner?

[ Laughter ] -It's hard to say. -Mm.

-He certainly looked well-fed.

[ Laughter ] -'Well-fed'? -To judge by appearances.

Of course, that's not unusual in a man his age.

You have some wonderful books here, Ms. Balash.

Oh, 'The Red and the Black' -- I've been so anxious to read this.

I wonder, can I borrow it sometime?

-What? -Can I borrow this?

I promise to return it.

-What do you mean, 'a man his age'? -I beg your pardon?

-You said, 'Not so unusual in a man his age.'

How old is he?

-Oh. Well, you realize it was a dark night.

And he'd had an exhausting day emotionally, at any rate.

I would guess his age at, uh, fif-- hmm... six-- sev-- [ Laughter ] It's hard to say, very.

Possibly if he had some hair.

[ Laughter ] Have you read, 'The Magic Mountain' -What? -'The' -- 'The Magic Mountain.'

I bought it for myself for my birthday.

I'll lend it to you if you'd like.

-Is he completely bald?

-Does that matter?

I thought you said you were in love with him.

-Oh, I am in love with him, Mr. Nowack. I am.

It's just that I thought -- Well, I'd hoped... [ Laughter ] I am so ashamed of myself.

As if appearances made a difference.

The important thing is the letters!

Just think of all the immortal works of art, the -- the rapturous love stories that were written by elderly men, bald men, fat men... [ Laughter ] ...with indigestion and terrible tempers.

But inside -- Inside, they had the magic.

And that is a glory beyond destination.

[ Inhales sharply ] -You put it very well, Ms. Balash.

-I feel very well, Mr. Nowack. I feel marvelous.

Thank you so much for coming here today!

Thank you, for my life.

I'm going to write to him this very minute so he'll have a letter waiting.

But I won't mention you, as that might be embarrassing.

-Yes, I would appreciate that.

Um, I -- I should get back to the shop.

-Yes, I'll follow as soon as I've written the letter.

-Oh, no, no. No, that's not necessary.

Take the rest of the day off.

Relax. Read a book.

[ Both chuckle ] Have you, uh, finished 'Anna Karenina' yet?

-Oh, yes. A long time ago.

-Oh.

Well, so did I, but it's remarkable how it stays with me.

Every station platform with a train puffing in is Anna's platform, wherever it may be.

And I can see her.

I can actually see her come out of the crowd and walk slowly toward her death.

I've even tried to stop her a few times, but she always vanishes in the smoke and steam.

-Mr. Nowack, how odd.

Oh, how very odd.

You know, in one of his letters -- Oh, no.

I wish I could show it to you.

-[ Sighs ] You mean Dear Friend's had the same experience.

-More than once. -[ Chuckles nervously ] Well, goodbye, Ms. Balash.

-Goodbye. Wait, Mr. Nowack.

[ Sighs ] May I tell you something quite sincerely?

I like you, Mr. Nowack, really.

I like you.

-Thank you, Ms. Balash. -Mm-hmm.

[ Both chuckle ] -I'll see you in the morning. -In the morning.

Okay.

[ 'Vanilla Ice Cream' playing ] ♪ Dear friend ♪ I am so sorry about last night ♪ ♪ It was a nightmare in every way ♪ ♪ But together, you and I will laugh at last night someday ♪ ♪ Ice cream ♪ He brought me ice cream ♪ Vanilla ice cream ♪ Imagine that ♪ Ice cream, and for the first time ♪ ♪ We were together without a spat ♪ ♪ Friendly, he was so friendly ♪ ♪ That isn't like him, I'm simply stunned ♪ ♪ Will wonders never cease?

♪ Will wonders never cease?

♪ It's been a most peculiar day ♪ ♪ Will wonders never cease?

♪ Will wonders never cease?

Oh, where was I?

[ Laughter ] -'I am so sorry about last night.

It was a nightmare in every way.

But together, you and I will laugh at last night someday.'

♪ I sat there waiting in that café ♪ ♪ And never guessing that you were fat ♪ Oh!

[ Laughter ] ♪ That you were ♪ ♪ You were outside looking bald ♪ Oh, my!

[ Laughter ] ♪ Dear friend ♪ I am so sorry about last night ♪ ♪ Last night, I was so nasty ♪ Well, he deserved it, but even so ♪ ♪ That Georg is not like this Georg ♪ ♪ This is a new Georg that I don't know ♪ ♪ Somehow, it all reminds me of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde ♪ ♪ When, right before my eyes, a man that I despise ♪ ♪ Has turned into a man I like ♪ It's almost like a dream ♪ And strange as it may seem ♪ He came to offer me ♪ Vanilla ♪ Ice cream [ Cheers and applause ] ♪ [ 'She Loves Me' playing ] -♪ Well ♪ Well, well, well, well, well, well, well, well, well ♪ [ Laughter ] [ Cheers and applause ] ♪ Will wonders never cease ♪ I didn't like her [ Laughs ] I didn't like her. I couldn't stand her.

♪ I couldn't stand her, I wouldn't have her ♪ ♪ I never knew her ♪ But now I do ♪ And I could, and I would ♪ And I know ♪ ♪ She loves me ♪ And to my amazement [ Laughing ] I love it!

♪ Knowing that she loves me ♪ She loves me ♪ True, she doesn't show it ♪ How could she, when she doesn't know it? ♪ ♪ Yesterday, she loathed me, ah ♪ ♪ Now, today, she likes me, ahh ♪ ♪ And tomorrow, tomorrow ♪ Ohhh ♪ My teeth ache from the urge to touch her ♪ ♪ I'm speechless for I mustn't tell her ♪ ♪ It's wrong now, but it won't be long now ♪ ♪ Before my love discovers that she and I are lovers ♪ ♪ Imagine how surprised she's bound to be ♪ ♪ She loves me ♪ She loves me ♪ I love her, isn't that a wonder? ♪ ♪ I wonder why I didn't want her ♪ ♪ I want her, that's the thing that matters ♪ ♪ And matters are improving daily ♪ ♪ Yesterday, I loathed her, bah ♪ ♪ Now, today, I love her, ha ♪ And tomorrow, tomorrow ♪ Ohhh ♪ I'm tingling such delicious tingles ♪ ♪ I'm trembling, what the hell does that mean? ♪ ♪ I'm freezing, that's because it's cold out ♪ ♪ And still I'm incandescent ♪ And like some adolescent ♪ I'd like to scrawl on every wall I see ♪ ♪ She loves me ♪ She loves me [ Cheers and applause ] ♪ ♪ ♪ -Oh, the new Mr. Maraczek! -Oh!

Not so impressive. Too young and too skinny.

-I think he's beautiful. Welcome back, Georg.

-Congratulations, Georg. -Thank you!

-Excuse me, but I could use some help in there.

We do have customers, you know.

-Say, that reminds me.

I have to have a word with Mr. Kodaly.

-Isn't it wonderful?

-A miracle -- an absolute miracle.

And, uh, a word with Mr. Kodaly?

-Oh, who cares about that?

That's all in the past.

-It is? -Ever since last night.

Do you remember what a silly, confused girl I was last night?

-You were? -Oh, very.

I didn't know what to do or where to go, and, somehow, my feet started walking down the street across the bridge, past the Metropol Cinema, and do you know where?

-Where? -Right into the library.

-The library? -Can you imagine?

[ Laughter ] -How did you like it?

-Oh, you've never seen such a place.

So many books!

[ 'A Trip to the Library' playing ] And so much marble. And so quiet.

♪ And suddenly, all of my confidence ♪ ♪ Dribbled away with a pitiful plop ♪ ♪ My head was beginning to swim ♪ ♪ And my forehead was covered with cold perspiration ♪ ♪ I started to reach for a book ♪ ♪ And my hand automatically came to a stop ♪ ♪ I don't know how long I stood frozen ♪ ♪ A victim of panic and mortification ♪ ♪ Oh, how I wanted to flee ♪ When a kindly voice, a gentle voice ♪ ♪ Whispered, 'Pardon me' -Oh, 'Pardon me' ♪ -♪ Uh-huh ♪ And there was this dear, sweet, clearly respectable ♪ ♪ Thickly-bespectacled man who stood by my side ♪ ♪ And quietly said to me, 'Ma'am ♪ ♪ Don't mean to intrude, but I was just wondering ♪ ♪ Are you need of some help?'

♪ I said 'No...Yes, I am' Oh!

♪ The next thing I know, I'm sipping hot chocolate ♪ ♪ And telling my troubles to Paul ♪ ♪ Whose tender brown eyes kept sending compassionate looks ♪ ♪ A trip to the library ♪ Has made a new girl of me ♪ For, suddenly, I can see ♪ The magic of books [ Laughs ] ♪ I have to admit, in the back of my mind ♪ ♪ I was praying he wouldn't get fresh ♪ ♪ And all of the while, I was wondering ♪ ♪ Why an illiterate girl should attract him ♪ ♪ Then, all of a sudden, he said I couldn't go wrong ♪ ♪ With 'The Way of All Flesh' ♪ Of course, it's a novel, but I didn't know ♪ ♪ Or I certainly wouldn't have smacked him ♪ ♪ Well, he gave me a smile that I couldn't resist ♪ ♪ And I knew at once how much I liked this ♪ ♪ Optometrist -♪ Optometrist?

-♪ Op-to-me-trist ♪ You know what this dear, sweet ♪ ♪ Slightly-bespectacled gentleman said to me next? ♪ ♪ He said he could solve this problem of mine ♪ ♪ I said, 'How?'

♪ He said, If I'd like, he'd willingly read to me ♪ ♪ Some of his favorite things ♪ I said 'When?'

♪ He said 'Now' ♪ His novel approach seemed highly suspicious ♪ ♪ And possibly dangerous, too ♪ I told myself, 'Wait, think ♪ Dare you go up to his flat?

♪ What happens if things go wrong? ♪ ♪ It's obvious he's quite strong' ♪ [ Laughs ] ♪ He read to me all night long ♪ Now, how about that?

[ Giggles ] ♪ It's hard to believe how truly domestic ♪ ♪ And happily hopeful I feel ♪ I picture my Paul there, reading aloud as I cook ♪ ♪ As long as he's there to read ♪ ♪ There's quite a good chance, indeed ♪ ♪ A chance that I'll never need ♪ ♪ To open a book ♪ Unlike someone else ♪ Someone I dimly recall ♪ I know he'll only have eyes for me ♪ ♪ My optometrist, Paul [ Cheers and applause ] [ Giggles ] [ Both speaking indistinctly ] -Well, I might as well tell you.

Mr. Kodaly is leaving us right now.

Mr. Maraczek's orders.

-Why? I mean, it's nice, but what happened?

-Well, I'm afraid I can't tell you.

-Oh, I bet I know.

I warned him they'd catch up with him.

Do you know that half the perfume and toilet water from this shop ended up in his bathroom?

I mean, he told me.

[ Laughs nervously ] [ Laughter ] -Well, incidentally, uh, now that you're back and everything's all straightened out, I might as well tell you.

Um, I sent the anonymous letter.

-Ladislav, what anonymous letter?

-You didn't know?

What do you think caused all the trouble?

I wrote to Mr. Maraczek about his wife and one of our clerks!

-I can't believe you did that! -I was desperate!

Business was so bad, and I thought to myself, if he fires Mr. Kodaly, who deserves it, he might not fire me, who doesn't.

-Do you have any idea how much trouble you've caused?

-I'll regret it till the day I die, but who ever dreamed Mr. Maraczek would have thought I meant you?

-Well... Ladislav, I certainly hope you've learned your lesson.

-Oh, I have.

I have. Believe me.

In the next letter, name the names.

-That's not the le-- No. The lesson is... ♪ ♪ -Ms. Ritter, I'll need two weeks' pay for Mr. Kodaly.

-Oh, here it is.

No, no. My pleasure.

Good day, madam. May I help you?

-Do you carry Flowers of Spring?

-Good day, madam. Arpad.

-Mr. Sipos, guess what?

-What? -I'm a clerk!

-Well, congratulations, Arpad!

-Mr. Maraczek just promoted me.

Oh, and something else -- I'm not Arpad anymore.

-You're not? Who are you?

-Mr. Laszlo.

-Why Laszlo? -It's my last name.

[ Laughter ] -♪ Thank you, madam, please call again ♪ ♪ Do call again, madam -Ms. Ritter, may I present our new clerk, Mr. Laszlo.

-It's true. Ask Mr. Maraczek.

-Oh, Arpad, how wonderful! Mwah!

-What's wonderful?

-I'm a clerk, starting right now -- a clerk.

-[ Scoffs ] Can you believe it?

Steven Kodaly replaced by a delivery boy.

-Replaced? -That's right, Arpad.

I'm leaving. I've just resigned.

I wouldn't stay here another minute.

-You couldn't. You've just been fired.

-[ Chuckles ] All right.

Believe that if it makes you happy.

But you won't be happy for long, because any day now, that door will close for the last time, and then just take a walk over to Hammererschmidt's.

-Why? It's closed.

-Only temporarily. For renovations.

You see, they're going to have a new owner now -- Steven Kodaly.

-Hmm. Some owner.

-Nevertheless, it's true.

Ilona believes me. Don't you, darling?

-Of course I do.

Here's your down payment.

[ 'Grand Knowing You' playing ] -♪ It's been grand knowing you ♪ Grand knowing you ♪ Grand being your friend ♪ You've been kind, loyal, and so generous ♪ ♪ Right down to the end ♪ Please don't grieve watching me leave ♪ ♪ That would be much too painful to stand ♪ ♪ It's been fun, now I must run ♪ ♪ But it's been grand, perfectly grand ♪ ♪ Ilona, farewell, ♪ Chin up ♪ It's been sublime ♪ You mustn't waste a precious moment over me ♪ ♪ You don't have time ♪ Just remember, when you're lonely or blue ♪ ♪ There's a hollow in my pillow for you ♪ ♪ And, Sipos, oh, what can I say ♪ ♪ Ah, Sipos, no tears, be gay ♪ You know, old friend, I'm in your debt ♪ ♪ I owe you more than I can possibly repay ♪ ♪ I won't forget ♪ Give your wife a little kiss from Kodaly ♪ ♪ I never met her -- but I will ♪ ♪ Bye and bye ♪ Though I hate leaving you ♪ Hate leaving your warm, intimate club ♪ ♪ It's a small pleasure, but I'll treasure ♪ ♪ Each warm, intimate snub ♪ It's been grand, let me say ♪ And let me say ♪ For it's grand knowing you'll all be working ♪ ♪ For your friend ♪ Kodaly [ Cheers and applause ] ♪ [ 'Twelve Days to Christmas' playing ] -♪ On the first day of Christmas ♪ ♪ My true love gave to me -♪ First day of Christmas -♪ My true love gave to me -♪ First day of Christmas -♪ My true love gave to me [ Door opens ] -Good morning, Mr. Nowack.

-Good morning, Ms. Balash. How are you today?

-Ready for thousands of customers.

-Only twelve more days to go.

-♪ Fa, la, la, la, la, la, la, la ♪ ♪ Fa, la, la, la, la, la, la ♪ Fa ♪ Twelve days to Christmas ♪ Twelve days to Christmas ♪ Plenty of time to do your Christmas shopping ♪ ♪ These are the people who shop in time ♪ ♪ Shop in time, plenty of time ♪ These are the people with time to spare ♪ ♪ Who shop at their convenience ♪ ♪ Twelve days to Christmas ♪ Twelve days to Christmas ♪ Look at the way they do their Christmas shopping ♪ [ Cha-ching ] ♪ They can go shopping and still remain ♪ ♪ Calm and sedate -♪ These are the people we envy and the people that we hate ♪ -♪ Thank you, thank you, please call again ♪ ♪ Do call again, thank you -Quite a day, eh, Mr. Nowack?

-Oh, it, uh, certainly was, Ms. Balash.

-Thank you for the book. It was excellent.

-I'm so glad you enjoyed it.

Um, will you be taking the bus home today, Ms. Balash?

-Yes, I will.

-May I walk you to the bus stop?

-I'd like that, Mr. Nowack.

-♪ Twelve drummers drumming -♪ Twelve drummers drumming -♪ Eleven pipers piping -♪ Eleven pipers piping -♪ Ten lords a-leaping ♪ Nine, nine, nine, nine ♪ Nine days to Christmas ♪ Nine days to Christmas ♪ Still enough time to do your Christmas shopping ♪ ♪ These are the people who shop in time ♪ ♪ Shop in time, still enough time ♪ ♪ Sensible people who organize the time at their disposal ♪ ♪ Nine days to Christmas ♪ Nine days to Christmas ♪ Still enough time to do your Christmas shopping ♪ [ Cha-ching ] ♪ These are the people who plan their days ♪ ♪ Wisely and well -♪ These are the people who shop in time ♪ ♪ And they can go to hell -♪ Thank you, thank you, please call again ♪ ♪ Do call again, thank you -Are you in a very great hurry today, Ms. Balash?

-No, not at all.

-I was thinking maybe a cup of coffee on the way to the bus?

-I'd like that, Mr. Nowack.

-So would I.

-♪ Eight maids a-milking, seven swans a-swimming ♪ ♪ Six geese a-laying, five golden rings ♪ ♪ Four days to Christmas ♪ Four days to Christmas ♪ Just enough time to do your Christmas shopping ♪ ♪ These are the people who shop in time ♪ ♪ Just in time, barely in time ♪ These are the people who calculate ♪ ♪ With clinical precision ♪ Four days to Christmas ♪ Four days to Christmas ♪ These are the folks who never waste a second ♪ [ Cha-ching ] ♪ Full of a chilly efficiency ♪ Loaded with gall -♪ Never too early and never late ♪ ♪ And they're the worst of all -♪ Thank you, thank you, please call again ♪ ♪ Do call again, thank you -What a day.

-[ Laughs ] Just wait until the 24th.

-The 24th?! ♪ One day to Christmas ♪ One day to Christmas ♪ Not enough time to do our Christmas shopping ♪ ♪ We're not the shopple who peeped in time ♪ ♪ We're not the sheeple who popped in time ♪ ♪ We're not the people who shopped in time ♪ ♪ Shopped in time, not enough time ♪ ♪ We are the people who always wait ♪ ♪ Until it's much too late, oh! ♪ ♪ One day to Christmas ♪ One day to Christmas ♪ How will we ever do our Christmas shopping? ♪ ♪ Why did we ever delay so long, who can recall? ♪ ♪ Some of the family may not get a Christmas gift at all ♪ [ Indistinct shouting ] -♪ Thank you, thank you, please call again ♪ ♪ Do call again, thank you ♪ Merry Christmas [ Cheers and applause ] -Oh, oh, I'm so sorry. -That's all right.

-I didn't mean, uh -- -I know.

-Ooh, here it is.

-Oh, not bad. -'Not bad'? That's at least 18 inches longer than last year!

-If only every night were Christmas Eve.

-Oh, I don't think I could take it.

I haven't stopped for a minute.

-I waited on 53 customers personally.

-Too bad Mr. Maraczek couldn't be here.

-But I'll stop by the hospital tonight, and I'll bring this with...me.

Ladislav. Ladislav, it's coming.

She's inviting me home for Christmas Eve.

-Splendid! -Why 'splendid'? Tonight's the night she's supposed to meet Dear Friend!

-But you're Dear Friend. -That's just the point!

-Oh, I give up.

It's too complicated for me.

Uh, you want to untangle it?

Shoot yourself.

[ Laughter ] -Amalia, my friend's coming to pick me up.

Will you let me know when he gets here?

-Of course.

♪ ♪ Mr. Nowack, Mother and I would be so happy if you would join us for Christmas Eve.

-Well, Ms. Balash... -It's a very special Christmas Eve.

Do you know who's going to be there?

Dear Friend.

-Who?

-Dear Friend, the man I've been corresponding with.

Remember? -Yes.

Uh, yes, of course.

But I-I wouldn't want to intrude.

-Intrude? You'd be helping.

You've met him. You know him.

And you're so alike, really.

You can help me out when conversation gets too deep for me.

Please, Mr. Nowack?

-Well, Ms. Balash, I certainly hope this isn't a mistake.

-Oh, I know it's not.

Ah! -Mr. Maraczek!

-Maraczek!

-Where else would I be Christmas Eve?

-Merry Christmas, sir! -[ Laughs ] Merry Christmas!

-Oh! -Oh!

-Merry Christmas, sir. -What?! You did all that in one day?

-I thought I heard your voice!

Merry Christmas, Mr. Maraczek.

-Merry Christmas, Ms. Ritter.

Have you time for a drink?

-Champagne? I'll make time!

-Mr. Maraczek, such a surprise! -Ah!

Merry Christmas, Mr. Sipos.

Arpad, will you bring six cups?

-Of course! -I'll open the champagne.

I love opening champagne!

-How are you feeling, sir? -Fine.

[ Cork pops ] Excellent.

-The goblets! -The champagne!

-Oh, very nice. -Shall I pour?

-Now, now, now, just a little for Arpad.

You can have more when you start growing facial hair.

[ Laughter ] -Thank you, Mr. Maraczek. -Oh, it's good to be home.

-A toast, Mr. Maraczek.

-Christmas Eve, the shop, all of us together.

Merry Christmas.

-Merry Christmas! -Merry Christmas!

-Mmm! -Ahh. Very tasty.

-Thank you, sir. -So tell me, Georg.

What would you say to a gala dinner?

We'll go to some nice restaurant -- Weber's, perhaps.

-Oh, thank you so much, sir, uh, but... -Oh, but you weren't expecting me.

I-I understand.

-I've been invited by Ms. Balash.

-Well, don't give it another thought, my boy.

It's not important. -Is it?

It looks like -- It is!

-He's here! Ms. Ritter's friend!

-Isn't he handsome?

-Intelligent-looking. -He has beautiful eyes.

-Well, he's an optometrist.

[ Laughter ] -Much better than Kodaly. I'll say that.

-I love the way he walks.

-And that coat, that hat! -Is he rich?

-I don't know. -He has dimples.

-Well, that settles it.

Tonight, when he asks me to marry him, I'll say yes.

-Tonight? Ilona, I had no idea.

-Neither does he.

Merry Christmas!

-Merry Christmas! -Merry Christmas!

-Good evening.

[ Applause ] [ Laughter ] -Well, Mr. Maraczek, thank you for the champagne.

And now my wife and children are waiting for me and my wife's sister and her children and God knows who else.

Merry Christmas.

-Merry Christmas. -See you, boss.

-Arpad. -Yes, sir?

-Are you busy tonight? -No, sir.

-Oh, yes, you are. You're going to Weber's.

-Weber's! What is it?

-Oh, Georg, Arpad and I are going out for a night on the town.

-Merry Christmas.

-Merry Christmas, Ms. Balash, Georg.

-Merry Christmas, sir. -Merry Christmas, Mr. Nowack.

-Merry Christmas, Mr. Laszlo.

-I'm going to Weber's. -Hmm.

-So, tell me, Mr. Laszlo.

Is there anything special you'd like for Christmas?

-Well, it's too much to hope for.

-Well, what is it? -I won't get it, anyway.

-Well, at least tell me.

-Well, what I'd really like more than anything is a motorcycle.

-You're right, my boy. You won't get it.

[ Laughter ] -[ Sighs ] [ Door closes ] ♪ ♪ Oh, here, let me help you with those.

-Oh.

♪ Oh.

[ Both laugh ] -A cigarette box.

-I know you hate them, but I happen to like them.

And I thought as a gift for Dear Friend.

[ Laughter ] -Uh... What if he's not a smoker?

-He likes music.

-And it's just a box. -Mm-hmm.

-You know, Ms. Balash, I-I don't hate these boxes nearly as much as I used to.

In fact, I wouldn't mind owning one myself.

-Oh, you wouldn't?

-If only to remind me of the first day you came here, remember?

I'll never forget it.

'Oh, what kind of box, madam?'

'It's a candy box, and it's functional.'

[ Both laugh ] -I was so terrified, and you were so awful.

[ Laughter ] Ugh. Did I really sound like that?

-You sounded irresistible.

As a matter of fact, I remember thinking to myself, 'Well, that's'... [ Clears throat ] '...that's the kind of girl I could almost fall in love with.'

-But you were so awful. -I know.

-And you never said anything. -How could I?

I knew how you felt. -No you didn't.

You didn't really, because I was attracted to you -- more than attracted.

-As awful as I was?

-What a shame you never spoke up.

-And you.

-Who knows what might have been?

[ Sighs ] -♪ I am so sorry about last night ♪ ♪ It was a nightmare in every way ♪ ♪ But together, you and I will laugh at last night ♪ ♪ Someday -Dear Friend?

♪ It's really true, then ♪ It's what I'd hoped for ♪ That it was you -♪ Dear friend, I had to tell you ♪ ♪ I couldn't stand it until you knew ♪ -♪ Oh, Georg -♪ Two weeks ♪ I've known for two weeks -♪ I've been so anxious ♪ I was afraid -♪ I was so tempted ♪ I didn't dare -♪ I'm so relieved -♪ I wanted you to know -♪ I prayed that it was you -♪ I thought you might have guessed ♪ -♪ To tell the truth -♪ I couldn't wait another day ♪ [ Applause ] ♪ -[ Laughs ] ♪ [ Cheers and applause ] ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ [ Cheers and applause continue ] ♪ ♪ Thank you, madam ♪ Thank you, please call again ♪ Glad that you came ♪ Fond fare-thee-well ♪ Thank you, thank you, please call again ♪ ♪ Do call again ♪ Won't you?

[ Cheers and applause ] ♪ ♪ To find out more about 'She Loves Me' and other 'Great Performances' programs, visit pbs.org/greatperformances.

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♪ ♪ ♪ [ Cheers and applause continue ] ♪


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