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A Foreign Affair (1948) Poster

Quotes

Erika von Schluetow: Let's go up to my apartment. It's only a few ruins away from here.

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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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Captain John Pringle: How is good old Iowa?

Phoebe Frost: Sixty-two percent Republican, thank you.

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Erika von Schluetow: So you fly off back home. Wash your hands. Wash your lips. You've got so much soap in the United States.

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Erika von Schluetow: [singing] 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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Phoebe Frost: How do you know so much about women's clothing?

Captain John Pringle: My mother wears women's clothing.

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Col. Rufus J. Plummer: Morale! Maybe someday we can send a little committee of our own investigating morale in Washington D.C.

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Phoebe Frost: There. Now we're getting someplace. I wonder what holds up that dress...

Captain John Pringle: Must be that German willpower.

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Phoebe Frost: Really, Colonel Plummer... you should have your brakes relined!

Col. Rufus J. Plummer: [as she leaves, he scratches his nose with the middle finger, apparently flipping her off. it WAS Billy Wilder, after all]

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Erika von Schluetow: Want to buy an illusion?

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Captain John Pringle: Don't tell me it's subversive to kiss a Republican!

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Phoebe Frost: We'll go there right now!

Captain John Pringle: Where?

Phoebe Frost: To the files!

Captain John Pringle: In the middle of the night? Shouldn't we get permission?

Phoebe Frost: Did we get permission to land in Normandy? Let's go!

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Col. Rufus J. Plummer: Well, men, once more it is our honor and privilege to welcome a visiting committee. Lately they seem to be coming as regularly as the electric bill. This time its not just VIPs. This time we're gettin' VIPIs: Very Important Persons In deed. Some congressional committee to investigate our morale. Seems back home they've got an idea this here is one great big picnic. That all we do is swing in hammocks with blonde frauleins, swap cigarettes for castles on the Rhine and soak our feet in sparkling Mosel. Well, let's not kid ourselves. Some of you do go overboard once in awhile. Maybe some of you are working to hard to enlighten the civilian population. And maybe some of you PX millionaires have found out you can parlay a pack of cigarettes into something more than 20 smokes. After all, this isn't a boy scout camp. We've got a tough job on our hands and by and large I think we're handling it darn well. For my dough, we're on the ball. Most of us, anyway. Most of the time. But, what they've got to realize is, you can't pin Sergeant stripes on an archangel.

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Captain John Pringle: There's a little unfinished business here, you know. Now that we've won the war, we mustn't lose the peace!

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Phoebe Frost: [Addressing her fellow committee members, as she and a Congressional committee are in a plane on the approach to Berlin] Perhaps I should remind you why we were sent to Berlin... We're here to investigate the morale of American occupation troops, nothing else. 12,000 of our boys are policing that pest hole down below and according to reports, they are being infected by a kind of moral malaria. It is our duty to their wives, their mothers, their sisters, to find the facts. And if these reports are true, to fumigate that place with all the insecticides at our disposal.

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Captain John Pringle: Sorry. I guess this is where the funny man says, "Shall we dance?"

Phoebe Frost: You are not a funny man, Captain Pringle. But you are quite a dancer. What a waltz we had. Good night.

[walks out]

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Captain John Pringle: [after Erika's been spotted in German newsreels, associating with high-ranking members of the Nazi Party] Having your hand kissed by Hitler. I hope you had it sterilized. Looked as if he had rat poison in that moustache.

Erika von Schluetow: Don't talk like that.

Captain John Pringle: Why not? How much of a Nazi were you, anyway?

Erika von Schluetow: Johnny, what does it matter, a woman's politics? Women pick out whatever's in fashion and change it like a spring hat.

Captain John Pringle: Yeah. Last year it was a little number with a swastika on it. This year it's ostrich feathers, red, white and blue. Next year a hammer, maybe, and a sickle.

Erika von Schluetow: Oh, Johnny, we must not say mean words to each other.

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Erika von Schluetow: When you say you are engaged, that is only until her plane leaves, huh?

Captain John Pringle: What else?

Erika von Schluetow: I love you so very much.

Captain John Pringle: You do?

Erika von Schluetow: You're the only man I ever wanted to marry.

Captain John Pringle: That's mighty white of you.

Erika von Schluetow: I want to go with you to America. I want to climb up the Statue of Liberty.

Captain John Pringle: You want to get down that basement at Fort Knox.

Erika von Schluetow: I want to be where you are.

Captain John Pringle: Yeah, I can just imagine you in Iowa in blue jeans, going on a hay ride to the old mill.

Erika von Schluetow: I would love that.

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Phoebe Frost: Colonel Plummer, in your eloquent speech, which I'm sure you've made 50 times, you used the phrase "Some of our boys may get out of line sometimes." That, gentlemen, is a masterpiece of understatement.

Col. Rufus J. Plummer: What are you driving at, Miss Frost?

Phoebe Frost: In your admirable effort to civilize this country, our boys are rapidly becoming barbarians themselves.

Col. Rufus J. Plummer: I explained on that tour...

Phoebe Frost: Yes, I know all about those tours. You put blinkers on us. You maneuver us around. You make sure we only see what you want us to see. Then you give us pamphlets, statistics, and a rousing speech and ship us back a little more bamboozled than when we came. We could have stayed at home and learned as much from Reader's Digest.

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Giffin: Miss Frost. Congresswoman Frost?

Phoebe Frost: Present.

Giffin: We're flyin' over Berlin.

Phoebe Frost: Fifteen minutes ahead of schedule.

Giffin: Well, don't you want to see it?

Phoebe Frost: One thing at a time.

Giffin: You got quite a sight comin'. Looks like chicken and its fryin' time.

Phoebe Frost: Considering the amount of taxpayers money that was poured on it, I don't expect it to look like a lace valentine.

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Captain John Pringle: There must have been a mistake at the laundry. We got a crazy old laundress. You know what happened with Lt. Frankovich? He sent out his shorts and got back a girdle.

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Erika von Schluetow: You're hurting me Johnny! You're always hurting me. Why are you so mean to me?

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Erika von Schluetow: Johnny, for 15 years we haven't slept in Germany. First it was Hitler screaming on the radio. Then, the war of nerves. Then, the victory celebrations. And the bombing. All the furniture burnt.

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Erika von Schluetow: Give me that mattress.

Captain John Pringle: No mattress will help you sleep. What you Germans need is a better conscience.

Erika von Schluetow: I have a good conscience! I have a new Führer now. You! Heil Johnny.

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Captain John Pringle: [Playfully] You heil me once more and I'll knock your teeth in.

Erika von Schluetow: I'll bruise your lips.

Captain John Pringle: Why don't I choke you a little. Break you in two. Build a fire under you - you blonde witch.

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Erika von Schluetow: [Knock at the door] Who's that?

Captain John Pringle: With my luck, it's Eisenhower.

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Captain John Pringle: Paperwork! Thats what's wrong with the Army. Thats why we're always fouled up when a war starts. It takes us six months to clear off the paperwork in the last one!

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Captain John Pringle: [to Erika] Aw, you gorgeous booby trap!

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Col. Rufus J. Plummer: Here's the Reich Chancellery where the Führer fixed up a little duplex. As it turned out, one part got to be a great big padded cell and the other a mortuary. Underneath there's a concrete basement. That's where he married Eva Braun and that's where they killed themselves. A lot of people say it was a perfect honeymoon.

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Col. Rufus J. Plummer: One family has already christened a kid DiMaggio Schultz. That's when I started believin' we'd really won the war.

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Erika von Schluetow: [singing] Black Market, Eggs for statuettes, Smiles for cigarettes, Got some broken down ideals? Like wedding rings?

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Erika von Schluetow: [singing] I'll trade you for your candy, Some gorgeous merchandise, My camera - it's a dandy! Six by nine - just your size. You want my porcelain figure? A watch? A submarine? A Rembrandt? Salami? Black lingerie from Wien?

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Erika von Schluetow: [singing] Black Market. Laces for the misses. Chewing gum for kisses! Black Market. Cuckoo clocks and bangles! Thousand little angles!

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Erika von Schluetow: [singing] Come, and see my little musicbox today! Price? Only six cartons! Want to hear it play?

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Erika von Schluetow: [singing] Black Market. Milk and microscope for liverwurst and soap. Browse around! I've got so many toys! Don't be bashful. Step up, boys!

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Erika von Schluetow: [singing] I'm selling out! Take all I've got! Ambitions! Convictions! The works! Why not? Enjoy these goods. For boy, these goods, Are hot!

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Mike: You know, you're a nice little strudel!

Joe: Hey, hands off! I saw her first.

Phoebe Frost: Ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha

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Mike: How do you like these prices? We better write Congress to boost our PX ration.

Joe: Fat chance! All them schmooze think about is coal strikes, blood control, United Nations.

Mike: So what's Congress? A bunch of salesmen that's got their foot in the right door.

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Joe: Boy, that's strudel! Strudel a la mode! That's the kind of pastry that make you drool on your bib.

Mike: You know what they say? They say she was right up there with them big Nazis. Right in the major league! That's what they say. She was Goebbels' girl. Or, Göring's. One of 'em, any way.

Joe: How did she get away with it?

Mike: How did she get away with it? Just look at her! She's hooked herself some big brass.

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Phoebe Frost: Are there any other sewers like this in Berlin?

Captain John Pringle: Three or four, maybe. But, this is the best sewer.

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Col. Rufus J. Plummer: What I want to point out is, that its a tough, thankless, lonely job. We're trying to lick it as well as we can.

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Phoebe Frost: Col. Plummer, I didn't go for the blinkers. Now, don't try a muzzle! The last time someone wanted to gag me, he tried it with a mink coat.

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Captain John Pringle: Baseball and a little less heel clicking is what he needs.

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WAC Technical Sergeant: Captain Pringle is wanted in 112.

Captain John Pringle: Who's that?

WAC Technical Sergeant: That Congress dame - whatever her name is.

Captain John Pringle: She wants to see me?

WAC Technical Sergeant: Yes sir.

Captain John Pringle: Now?

WAC Technical Sergeant: Now, sir. She's clucking like a hen. You better get there before she lays an egg!

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Phoebe Frost: I suppose I trust you because we're both Iowans.

Captain John Pringle: Right back at you, Miss Frost!

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Phoebe Frost: They certainly fiddled big while Berlin burned.

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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.

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Erika von Schluetow: [Referring to Miss Frost] I see you do not believe in lipstick. And what a curious way to to do your hair or rather not to do it.

Captain John Pringle: Now, wait a minute! Do you know who you're talking to?

Erika von Schluetow: An American woman. And I'm a little disappointed, to tell you the truth. We apparently have a false idea about the chic American woman. Oh, I suppose that's publicity in Hollywood.

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Phoebe Frost: I suppose I do look awful without makeup.

Captain John Pringle: No, you don't!

Phoebe Frost: We were only allowed 60 pounds of luggage. We had to eliminate unessentials.

Captain John Pringle: Never listen to another woman, if you want to know how you look. Ask a man!

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Captain John Pringle: Who wants perfume? Give me the fresh wet smell of Iowa corn, right after it rains.

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Phoebe Frost: I want to make sure he's not doing something subversive.

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Phoebe Frost: I loved him, insanely. I loved the southern syrup in his voice, his mint julep manners, the way he'd look at me through his long, thick eyelashes.

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Captain John Pringle: Now, Congresswoman, may I have the floor?

Phoebe Frost: You are entirely out of order.

Captain John Pringle: Objection overruled.

[Kiss]

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Col. Rufus J. Plummer: I want every MP to memorize this puss.

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Captain John Pringle: You dressed for me and to me you look good.

Phoebe Frost: John, where did you learn so much about women's clothes?

Captain John Pringle: My mother wore women's clothes.

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Captain John Pringle: You don't want to go to that sewer?

Phoebe Frost: Yes, I do. I want it dark and gay and with music.

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Erika von Schluetow: [singing] Want to buy some illusions, Slightly used, second hand? They were lovely illusions, Reaching high, built on sand.

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Erika von Schluetow: [singing] They had a touch of paradise, A spell you can't explain: For in this crazy paradise, You are in love with pain.

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Phoebe Frost: I know he's not pretty, but he's beautiful.

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Erika von Schluetow: It's give and take if we are to survive.

Phoebe Frost: What have I to give? And what do you want to take?

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Phoebe Frost: Exactly what is it you want from me Fräulein von Schluetow?

Erika von Schluetow: Let's go up to my apartment. It's only a few ruins away from here.

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Erika von Schluetow: [Looking at a photograph] This how he looked when i met him first. He was a Lieutenant then. He sat at his desk, interrogating me. He had such a grime, business-like face. But, fortunately, I was wearing my last pair of silk stockings.

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Congressman Pennecot: If you give a hungry man a loaf of bread, that's democracy, if you leave the wrapper on, that's imperialism.

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Col. Rufus J. Plummer: Its a great big mess we're trying to clean up here. There's a lot of rubble. Rubble of all kinds: vegetable, mineral, and animal. You walk around on it, you're apt to stumble or get conked on the head by a loose brick.

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Erika von Schluetow: [singing] Amidst the ruins of Berlin, Trees are in bloom as they have never been. Sometimes at night you feel in all your sorrow, A perfume as of a sweet tomorrow! That's when you realize at last. They won't return - the phantoms of the past. A brand new spring is to begin, Out of the ruins of Berlin!

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Col. Rufus J. Plummer: So, we followed her all day, until the five o'clock shadow showed. Sure enough, she was Hermann.

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Erika von Schluetow: I have a paper which says I'm on the white list.

MP Lieutenant: Yeah and we know how you got it and it wasn't, if you'll pardon the non-Aryan expression, kosher.

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Erika von Schluetow: Come on, boys. Has it stopped raining?

[Lifts her dress up above her knees]

Erika von Schluetow: If there are any puddles. You carry me. Won't you, boys?

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Col. Rufus J. Plummer: You two, watch out for those two.

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See also

Trivia | Goofs | Crazy Credits | Alternate Versions | Connections | Soundtracks

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