7.4/10
5,230
50 user 31 critic

A Foreign Affair (1948)

Approved | | Comedy, Drama, Romance | 20 August 1948 (USA)
In occupied Berlin, an army captain is torn between an ex-Nazi café singer and the U.S. congresswoman investigating her.

Director:

Writers:

(screenplay), (screenplay) | 3 more credits »
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Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 1 nomination. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
Peter von Zerneck ...
Stanley Prager ...
Mike
...
Joe (as Bill Murphy)
Raymond Bond ...
Congressman Pennecot
Boyd Davis ...
Congressman Giffin
...
Congressman Kramer
...
Congressman Yandell
Michael Raffetto ...
Confressman Salvatore
...
Lieutenant Colonel
...
Major Mathews
James Lorimer ...
Lieutenant Hornby (as James Larmore)
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Storyline

A congressional committee visits occupied Berlin to investigate G.I. morals. Congresswoman Phoebe Frost, appalled at widespread evidence of human frailty, hears rumors that cafe singer Erika, former mistress of a wanted war criminal, is "protected" by an American officer, and enlists Captain John Pringle to help her find him...not knowing that Pringle is Erika's lover. Written by Rod Crawford <puffinus@u.washington.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

It would make a cigar store Indian laugh ...

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Romance

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

20 August 1948 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

La mundana  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office

Budget:

$1,500,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

While serving with the United States Army in Germany during World War II, Billy Wilder was promised government assistance if he made a film about Allied-occupied Germany, and he took advantage of the offer by developing this film with Charles Brackett and Richard L. Breen. Erich Pommer, who was responsible for the rebuilding of the German film industry, placed what was left of the facilities at Universum Film AG at Wilder's disposal. See more »

Goofs

Just after the movie begins,Jean Arthur announces to the Army officers that she is the representative of Iowa's 9th Congressional District. The movie was shot, and set, after the end of WWII in 1945. Iowa's 9th District was eliminated by redistricting after the 1940 Census, and ceased to exist after the representatives elected in 1942, the first elections with the redrawn 8 districts, took office at the beginning of 1943. This error may have been by intent to avoid connecting her to a real postwar district. See more »

Quotes

Phoebe Frost: [Looking at an old Nazi newsreel with Erika, in strapless gown, at the Opera] I wonder what holds up that dress?
Captain John Pringle: Must be that - German will power.
See more »

Connections

Featured in Billy Wilder Speaks (2006) See more »

Soundtracks

Meadowlands
(uncredited)
Written by Lev Knipper and Viktor Gusev
Sung by chorus (Soviet soldiers)
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User Reviews

Isn't It Romantic?
24 February 2004 | by (Belgium) – See all my reviews

Congresswoman Frost (Jean Arthur) comes to occupied Berlin to investigate the ‘moral decay' of US troops but falls in love with Captain Pringle (John Lund), who is having an affair with nightclub singer von Schlütow (Marlene Dietrich), who in turn is the ex-moll of a Nazi big wig.

Which filmmaker alive today would have the guts, the clout and the talent to make this dark a satire on the ‘rebuilding of Iraq'? Only three years after World War II, here is a movie that mercilessly punches holes through all illusions about patriotism, militarism or the nobility of the American cause. Nobody is spared in Billy Wilder's vision: the soldiers, the politicians, the Germans, they all claim to be working for the great cause of building a New Germany, while at the same time ruthlessly pursuing their own self-interests (self-interests, more often than not, having to do with getting laid). Wilder's very own brand of romanticism and sharp wit keep this movie from getting too grim and his cynical, played-for-laughs version of Germany Year Zero may well be more honest and grounded in reality than the misery-fest of Roberto ‘look at me caring for these poor victims' Rosselini.

***1/2


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