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A Foreign Affair (1948)

 -  Comedy | Drama | Romance  -  20 August 1948 (USA)
7.5
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Ratings: 7.5/10 from 3,768 users  
Reviews: 40 user | 25 critic

In occupied Berlin, an army captain is torn between an ex-Nazi cafe singer and the U.S. congresswoman investigating her.

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(screenplay), (screenplay), 3 more credits »
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Title: A Foreign Affair (1948)

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Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 1 nomination. See more awards »
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Director: Billy Wilder
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
Captain John Pringle
...
Col. Rufus J. Plummer
Peter von Zerneck ...
Hans Otto Birgel
Stanley Prager ...
Mike
William Murphy ...
Joe (as Bill Murphy)
Raymond Bond ...
Pennecot
Boyd Davis ...
Giffin
Robert Malcolm ...
Kramer
Charles Meredith ...
Yandell
Michael Raffetto ...
Salvatore
Damian O'Flynn ...
Lieutenant Colonel
Frank Fenton ...
Major Mathews
James Larmore ...
Lieutenant Hornby
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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:

A 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
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

"Theater Guild on the Air" broadcast a 60 minute radio adaptation of the movie on November 4, 1951 with Marlene Dietrich reprising her film role. See more »

Goofs

Though the character played by Jean Arthur is an 'unmarried' American Congresswoman, the actress's real life wedding ring is visible in many scenes especially close-ups during the latter part of the film. See more »

Quotes

Captain John Pringle: How is good old Iowa?
Phoebe Frost: Sixty-two percent Republican, thank you.
See more »

Connections

Featured in Cinema's Exiles: From Hitler to Hollywood (2009) See more »

Soundtracks

Meadowlands
(uncredited)
Written by Lev Knipper and Viktor Gusev
Sung by chorus (Soviet soldiers)
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Just one of Wilder's all-time best films
30 April 2005 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

This is one of Billy Wilder's least known films...and one of his best. A brilliant, cynical comedy about post-war Berlin goings on...black market, Army officers having affairs with notorious ex-Nazis, etc.

It stars Marlene Dietrich (one of her all-time best performances), and amazing Jean Arthur (in one of her final films), and newcomer John Lund, who was rather wooden in later performances...here, he's terrific.

Songs and musical score by Frederick Hollander...who's actually present playing piano. The three songs Dietrich sings, "Black Market", "Illusions" and "Ruins of Berlin" are lyrically integral to the plot and represent three of best songs written for a non-musical film of the late 1940's.

There's some serious plot points underneath the cynical comedy.

Wish to heck Universal would open their vaults and release it on DVD in the US; thankfully it's available in the UK (get an all-region DVD player...I did!).

It's an absolutely essential late 1940's comedy and in my opinion, one of Billy Wilder's best comedies.

Remember....Wilder's next film was "Sunset Boulevard".


29 of 34 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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