Berlin is the epitome of political and economic polarization. A microcosm of that polarization is the life of American C.R. MacNamara, known as Mac to his friends. He is Coca-Cola's head of West Berlin operations, although he feels he deserves to be Coca-Cola's head of European operations based in London. Mac's wife, Phyllis, wants him instead to get a steady and stable job back in head office in Atlanta. His West Berlin staff are all still used to treating him like their old master, the Fuhrer. The one exception is his secretary, Ingeborg, who is the latest in the long line of his secretary mistresses. And he's working on a trade agreement of getting Coca-Cola into the Russian market. His life goes into a tailspin when he hosts Scarlett Hazeltine in his home for two weeks. She is the seventeen year old spoiled and party-loving daughter of his Atlanta based boss, Wendell Hazeltine. Unlike most of the stops she's made on her European trip, Scarlett seems to like West Berlin and stays ... Written by
At the "Grand Hotel Potemkin", the band plays the song "Yes, We Have No Bananas" (in German of course). This song is used in Billy Wilder's previous film, Sabrina (1954). See more »
In the Grand Hotel Potemkin sequence showing the crossed Soviet and East German flags, the East German flag is upside down (black stripe should be on the top); maybe this was a deliberate error on the part of the filmmakers. See more »
This, and not Doctor Strangelove, is the supreme satire of the Cold War. From Cagney's hilarious opening narration, to its wonderful punch line, this masterpiece sustains a comic pace and energy that would almost no active film maker could hope to equal. The interrogation of Piffle is unforgettable, as is the meeting between Cagney and the commissars in the beer hall. In a word-MAGNIFICENT.
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