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 <email@example.com>
Billy Wilder and his crew filmed throughout Berlin for nearly a month. Their footage appears as rear projections in several scenes of the finished movie. It also forms the basis of a typically sardonic visual joke: as Captain Pringle rides through the ruins carrying a mattress he bought for his German mistress on the black market, the soundtrack plays the sweet tune "Isn't It Romantic?" See more »
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:
Want to buy some illusions? Slightly used, just like new. Such romantic illusions, and they're all about you. I sell them all for a penny, they make pretty souvenirs. Take my lovely illusions, some for laughs, some for tears.
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This is a superb film on post-war Germany, and an amazing take on Berlin in the late 40s. Wilder combines his poetical eye for the comic with a very subtle analysis of morality. And, on top of that, Marlene Dietrich sings and sums it all up. This film is a classic, make no mistake about that, and you definitely want to see it. Plus, it's history.
Billy Wilder had a special relationship with Berlin, and, to be sure, with Germany, and his movies show how deep this understanding ran: "One,Two, Three" and "A Foreign Affair" are among the best films made on Berlin. Full stop.
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