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A Foreign Affair (1948)

Approved  |   |  Comedy, Drama, Romance  |  20 August 1948 (USA)
7.5
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Ratings: 7.5/10 from 4,009 users  
Reviews: 40 user | 26 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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Originally made with a German soundtrack for screening in occupied Germany and Austria, this film was the first documentary to show what the Allies found when they liberated the Nazi ... See full summary »

Director: Billy Wilder
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
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 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
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

"Screen Director's Playhouse" broadcast a 60 minute radio adaptation of the movie on March 1, 1951 with Marlene Dietrich and John Lund again reprising their film roles. 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

Phoebe Frost: There. Now we're getting someplace. I wonder what holds up that dress...
Captain John Pringle: Must be that German willpower.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in The 55th Annual Academy Awards (1983) 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

 
The Work of a Master Craftsman
29 October 2005 | by (Arizona) – See all my reviews

For the two decades after World War II, there was a popular fascination involving films about or made in a reconstructed Europe. From The Search to The Great Escape, a genuine sense of authenticity maintained, sustained by writers, actors, and directors who had actually lived through the epoch. Most of them are now gone, not the least of which was one of the finest directors ever: Billy Wilder.

In this film, there are few stock caricatures once the viewer is able to get past certain allusions to contemporary popular culture (e.g. Who now remembers who "Gabriel Heatter" was?). Even the line "Is it subversive to kiss a Republican?" has a fresh ring to it. The writers must have been pleased with Wilder's usual fast-paced and witty visual turns accentuating their remarkable script.

Of course there is Marlene Dietrich the icon in effect playing herself as a postwar blue angel, and real Germans speaking real German where the story demanded it. Jean Arthur provides an able if somewhat overdrawn foil for La Dietrich, and has a little fun at it. In one scene, she coyly admits her first name is "Phoebe," which happens to be the name of a character she played years earlier in a western called Arizona (1940).

Wilder would revisit Berlin again in 1961 for the hilarious send-up One, Two, Three -- still a great favorite and indeed a classic film.


15 of 20 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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