Witness Me as I Lose My Mind

Something is driving B and me crazy and has been for some time. We both remember seeing an old-timey movie where a woman works in a stationary store and gives a poor man music composition paper for free. She eventually gets fired because her boss finds out. Later in her life, she meets the man again and (I think) he is now a successful composer.

I am pretty sure the movie was in black and white and it may have been foreign. The scenario I described above is not (I don’t think) the central plot of the movie. But we cannot, for the life of us, remember what movie it is and it is slowly driving us insane.

Please, PLEASE tell me one of you knows what I’m talking about.


  1. I’ll find out as soon as my husband calls me back. He’s a walking film encyclopedia. If anyone knows, he will. Back shortly!

    1. Oh thank you! I will be eagerly awaiting his verdict!

    2. Argh! he didn’t know!! He was silent for a minute or so, I could feel the wheels spinning, but ultimately he couldn’t come up with it. Do you know around what year it came out?

      1. See, that’s the thing. I personally think it was b&w, but B remembers it being in color, and around the time we saw it we were watching a lot of movies that were newer films that were filmed in b&w for stylistic reasons. So I don’t know what year it came out. See why this is so maddening?

        1. haha! I hate that feeling. I have the same thing with a song I heard a few times and now I’ll be damned if I can think of it. I know the gist of it but it’s just not gelling.
          Let me know if you come up with any more puzzle pieces.

          1. Angel figured it out! It is a later Chaplain film called Limelight. It’s a great movie and now I want to watch it again!

            1. Yay! What a relief! It’s amazing that we can get our craziest questions answered so quickly on the internet.
              I’ll report back to my husband. I’m sure if it’s Chaplain, he’s seen it. I wonder why it didn’t ring a bell? Weird.
              I wonder how Jells is doing? I’ve been thinking about her all day.

              1. I have been thinking of her too! Knowing her, though, she is rocking her delivery and surrounding herself with wonderful people. Cant wait to see her sweet girl!

                Your husband may not have initially guessed Limelight because the scenario I described above indeed isn’t part of the main plot; it’s just a minor detail like I thought.

  2. My walking film encyclopedia thinks it might be “Letters from an Unknown Woman.” With Louis Jourdan as a musician who has an affair with a young woman. She gets pregnant. He leaves, of course, becomes famous. She pines after him for years, they finally meet up again and he doesn’t remember her. Sound right?

    1. I don’t think so. In the movie we saw, the only relationship the two of them had was in the stationary store.

  3. Sorry, I can’t help you. I avoid black and white movies like the plague. Well, maybe not like the plague, but I really don’t watch them that much. :)

    1. Oooh but have you seen Sunset Boulevard? That’ll have you on b&w movies in no time.

      1. No, I haven’t. Does it have action in it? Oh, and Daniel Craig? ;)

        1. No, but it does have William Holden, murder, dead monkeys, and wingbat ex-silent movie stars. It is THE BEST.

          1. Okay, I’ll admit it, you’ve piqued my interest. I think it was the dead monkeys and murder thing. ;)

            1. If you see it, tell me what you think of it. It is one of my all-time favorites.

  4. i’ll see if i can bing it for you :S

  5. I’m so bad with film trivia, but if you ever need someone to identify a moment from a reality tv series, I’m your girl.

    1. I will keep that in mind if I ever have questions about old school seasons of the Real World :D

  6. I work in a university library with a film department so I’ll ask around :-)

    1. That would be awesome! Thank you so much!

  7. This doesn’t ring a bell with me at all, sorry to say. At first I was thinking it sounded kind of “10 Charing Cross Road”-ish, but that’s not it.

    1. I know. I am totally perplexed. If my husband didn’t remember seeing it too I would say that I made it up entirely.

  8. bellissimom · · Reply

    I love b&w movies. There are two that I have seen with a stationary store and of course one I remember nothing about. The other one I am thinking of is what they remade into You’ve Got Mail with Tom Hanks & Meg Ryan.

    1. Please tell me what they are! I am desperate!

      1. bellissimom · · Reply

        Here is what I found for one: You’ve Got Mail is a 1998 American romantic comedy film directed by Nora Ephron, starring Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan. It was written by Nora and Delia Ephron based on the play Parfumerie by Miklós László.

        I still cannot think of the other…

        1. Actually, we figured it out! It was a later Chaplain film called Limelight. If you like b&w movies and haven’t seen it, I highly recommend it! It is a really sweet, tender movie about an aging vaudville performer and a young woman who befriends him.

  9. Emily,
    My first guess was Pulp Fiction. Then, 2001. But it is Quest for Fire.
    Le Clown

    1. Emily,
      It wouldn’t be Chaplin’s City Lights? There’s a similar story to it.
      Le Clown

      1. I don’t think it’s City Lights, but we used to own that movie so that’s a definite maybe. Thanks. Now that’s a solid lead.

        1. Emily,
          I think Angel might have found it. She should be here any moment to share her find… It seemed like it was a Chaplin, just the wrong movie…
          Le Clown

          1. 99% sure she nailed it. We HAVE seen Limelight before but it was awhiles back. Thanks for sic-ing your Carnies on my quandary. I knew I could count on bloggers to help me.

    2. Are you heckling me?

  10. This movie doesn’t really fit your description completely, but my Spidey Sense is tingling. I’m thinking The Shop Around The Corner, with Jimmy Stuart and Margaret Sullavan.

    1. Whoops, Stewart!

    2. I don’t think that’s it, but I HAVE been wanting to see that for awhile. Would you recommend it?

      1. Shop Around the Corner is great.

      2. I haven’t seen it in ages, but I seem to recall liking it. Plus, it’s Jimmy Stewart, and he never disappoints. :)

  11. It’s so infuriating when you can’t remember something! It’ll come to you, next week, in the middle of the night. ;). I have no idea though!

    1. Or it will come to me via Angel Fractured :D She is awesome and helped me remember the movie, which is a later Chaplain film called Limelight.

  12. I think it’s Limelight. This review of it does mention the girl working in a stationery store and a girl: http://movielistmania.blogspot.com/2012/04/charlie-chaplins-limelight-movie-review.html

    When I read that detail, Limelight was my immediate thought, too, but I wasn’t sure because if that’s the movie then those aspects are not the more prominent parts of the movie.

    1. So I guess, like you said, it wasn’t a central part of the movie. It seems to fit.

      1. OMG I THINK THAT’S IT!!! Sorry to yell. I’m just a little excited :D You, my friend, are awesome. I’m forever in your debt :D

        1. Yay!!

  13. […] a movie she and her husband have been trying to identify for a very long time. You can find it here https://notthehardestpart.wordpress.com/2012/09/16/witness-me-as-i-lose-my-mind/  It motivated me to find my long-lost television show.  The Internet being the crazy amazing […]

  14. You motivated me to find the old TV show I remember from my childhood that no one else (except my Hubby) has ever heard of! And I found it! Yeah! I wrote about it today.

    1. Awesome! I think the Internet was created so that we could all confirm that we aren’t just making stuff up.

  15. no clue, but luckily it looks like you figured it out already.

    1. Yes we did! I can always count on the Internet to solve my problems.

  16. southernfriedinvegas · · Reply

    I was about to say that it was a Chaplain film when I read your other comments. I was with LeClown and thought it was City Lights, which has a similar story, but the composition paper part didn’t fit. Just down the street we have an outdoor ampitheatre that shows a Chaplain film accompanied by a live orchestra once a year. It is the most amazing experience.

    1. That sounds so, so awesome! I had never seen a Chaplain movie until we moved to Korea; all the movies were sold by street vendors for like $1.50, so we bought all of them. They are AMAZING. C is for sure going to grow up watching them.

      1. southernfriedinvegas · · Reply

        My husband is a huge Chaplain fan. I admit that I never saw any of the films until we were together. He converted me and I’m so glad.

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