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
The building of the Berlin Wall during production badly hurt the film's marketing in Germany. It was very ill-received by German audiences and had minimal success during its initial run. 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 »
Although "One, Two, Three" was made at a tense and crucial point in the Cold War standoff, it is bitingly funny and has aged well. As previous reviewers have noted, the performances are top notch, particularly those delivered by Cagney, Bucholz and Arlene Francis. The satire is thick in every scene, with particularly sharp barbs aimed at the behavior and attitudes of post-war Germans. The parodies of and references to Cagney's earlier films are also very funny. Cagney's makeover of the committed young Communist is outrageous.
A definite "10"...Wilder during his career peak, and Cagney delivering a fitting career finale.
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