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 made James Cagney do over 30 takes of a scene because Cagney kept saying "coat and striped pants" instead of "morning coat and striped pants." See more »
In the scene with the three MPs, when one opens the door and says he wants to be taken away, the other soldier call him "Sarge" at least twice. However, the insignia on his sleeve shows he's a Specialist 5th Class, equal in pay grade but not addressed as a sergeant. The two soldiers with stripes (Corporals) would actually out rank the specialist who was not considered a Noncomissioned Officer. See more »
[Otto muddles his coached answers]
Wendell P. Hazeltine:
How is the situation here in Berlin?
Otto Ludwig Piffl:
It shouldn't happen to a dog! Uh, I - I mean, it's a draw! Actually, the situation is hopeless, but not serious.
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"One, Two, Three," is a fast paced, cleverly scripted comedy, with an absolutely stellar performance from James Cagney. Billy Wilder's direction is vigorous and tight-knit, with a tempo that doesn't let up, yet doesn't tire either. One good line after the next, in an original comedy with loads of laughs. But it's Cagney's show, and does he give it his all! This is a wonderful tribute to one of the screen's all-time great actors.
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