Walter Matthau plays a professional killer going by the name of Trabucco, who is on his way to rub out gangster Rudy "Disco" Gambola, set to testify against the mob. As Trabucco heads off ... See full summary »
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.
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
When Cagney tells Otto he must give the couple a wedding present Scarlett claims that Otto's friends did not give them any gifts but instead sent the money to unemployed cotton pickers of Mississippi. Cagney was accused of being a communist sympathizer for sending money to striking cotton workers in the 1930's. See more »
When Otto rides his motorcycle back to East Berlin, there is a balloon on the tailpipe with "Russki Go Home" printed on it. As he rides through the streets of West Berlin, the lettering is on the side of the balloon. By the time he crosses into East Berlin, the lettering has shifted and is now on the rear. See more »
Do you know what happens if I defect? They will line up my family and shoot them! My wife, my mother-in-law, my brother-in-law, my sister-in-law.
Let's do it!
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Billy Wilder's hilarious Cold War comedy that only gets better with each viewing. It does help some, of course, to know the politics of the region and of that time period. Irregardless, one need not be a Hoover Institute Fellow to pick these up quickly. James Cagney, proving his acting range was virtually borderless, turns in a superb performance as the soft drink exec seeking an upper echelon corporate job.
With a terrific supporting cast, Cagney's corporate dreams are about to explode, when the boss' wild daughter flies into Berlin. Creating havoc, and not to mention more stress on his wounded marriage, the daughter runs off cavorting about in the Eastern Sector.
Corporate ambitions, romance and strong politics collide in this volatile, hilarious, extremely fast paced comedy. This is how a real comedic farce is put together, and it goes off without a hitch, all the way to the last gag. There's also some great homages/inside jokes to boot. A comedy classic, and another gem from Mr. Wilder.
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