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
Another Delightful and Witty Comedy of Billy Wilder
In West Berlin, the ambitious executive of Coca-Cola C.R. MacNamara (James Cagney) is negotiating with the Russian representatives the opening of several factories in the Iron Curtain, expecting to be promoted to a high position in Europe. However, his boss Wendell P. Hazeltine (Howard St. John) calls him from Atlanta and tells him to call off the negotiation since it is against the policy of the company. Further, he asks MacNamara to take care of his seventeen year-old daughter Scarlett (Pamela Tiffin) that is traveling through Europe during her two weeks vacation in Berlin. When MacNamara and his wife Phyllis (Arlene Francis) meet Scarlett in the airport, they feel that she would be a troublemaker with her "hot blood". However, Scarlett gets sick and stays for two months in MacNamara's house. When Wendell calls MacNamara telling that he would come to Berlin with his wife to bring Scarlett back to USA, Phyllis calls her husband and tells that Scarlett has vanished. However, Scarlett appears in MacNamara's office and tells that she got married with the communist Otto Ludwig Piffl (Horst Buchholz). The smart MacNamara plots a scheme to get rid of the youngster; but when he finds that Scarlett is pregnant, he reverts the situation and decides to transform Otto in the ideal son-in-law.
"One, Two, Three" is another delightful and witty comedy of Billy Wilder in times of Cold War. The hilarious story is developed in a fast pace, with wonderful and ironic lines and situations making fun of the socialist and the capitalist regimes. James Cagney has one of his best roles (if not the best) performing the ambitious and smart executive. One of my favorite lines is the one that Otto says "I have been a capitalist for only three hours and I already owe more than ten thousand dollars". This is the first time that I watch this movie, and I imagine how funny it would be before the fall of the Berlin Wall. My vote is eight.
Title (Brazil): "Cupido Não Tem Bandeira" ("Cupid does not Have Flag")
10 of 13 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?