Director Billy Wilder salutes his idol, Ernst Lubitsch, with this comedy about a middle-aged playboy fascinated by the daughter of a private detective who has been hired to entrap him with the wife of a client.
A frustrated former big-city journalist now stuck working for an Albuquerque newspaper exploits a story about a man trapped in a cave to re-jump start his career, but the situation quickly escalates into an out-of-control circus.
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 <firstname.lastname@example.org>
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 »
Erika von Schluetow:
We've all become animals with exactly one instinct left. Self-preservation. Now take me, Miss Frost. Bombed out a dozen times, everything caved in and pulled out from under me. My country, my possessions, my beliefs... yet somehow I kept going. Months and months in air raid shelters, crammed in with five thousand other people. I kept going. What do you think it was like to be a woman in this town when the Russians first swept in? I kept going.
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The main impression left by "A Foreign Affair" is Billy Wilder's nobility toward German people. With authentic magnanimity, he chooses to represent Germans as a pitiful people struggling to survive, not a cruel enemy to hate. The movie has an intrinsic historical interest, since it was filmed in 1948 Berlin, completely destroyed by bombs. As usual in Wilder's works, the plot is beautifully constructed, the dialogue is witty and funny, irony, sarcasm and anti-rhetoric are spread along the movie. In the opening scenes we see army captain John Lund at the black-market, selling a cake, hand-made by his American sweetheart and coming from the States, to buy a gift for his Berliner lover Marlene Dietrich. By the way, Dietrich and most Berliner women seem to be on the verge of prostitution, just to get primary goods to survive in post-war disaster. Lund meets Jean Arthur, a US congresswoman committed in hunting nazi war criminals. As a matter of fact, we follow Lund's attempts to destroy evidence of Dietrich's nazi past: a behavior by the captain not exactly patriotic, nor ethic. The finale is deeper than it appears at a first sight: brutal tyranny, based on terror and slaughter, is doomed to be annihilated, buried under the rubble; pretty girls remain, helping us to spend our life on this unhappy earth.
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