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 »
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
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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