One, Two, Three
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Synopsis for
One, Two, Three (1961) More at IMDbPro »

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In his last starring film, James Cagney plays Coca-Cola executive C.R. MacNamara. Assigned to manage Coke's West Berlin office, MacNamara dreams of being transferred to London, and to do this he must curry favor with his Atlanta-based boss, Hazeltine Thus, MacNamara agrees to look after Hazeltine's dizzy, impulsive daughter, Scarlett, during her visit to Germany. Weeks pass, and on the eve of Hazeltine's visit to West Berlin, Scarlett announces that she's gotten married. Even worse, her husband is a hygienically challenged East Berlin Communist named Otto Piffl. The crafty MacNamara arranges for Piffl to be arrested by the East Berlin police and to have the marriage annulled, only to discover that Scarlett is pregnant. In rapid-fire "one, two, three" fashion, MacNamara must arrange for Piffl to be released by the Communists and successfully pass off the scrungy, doggedly anti-capitalist Piffl as an acceptable husband for Scarlett. MacNamara must accomplish this in less than 12 hours, all the while trying to mollify his wife, who has learned of his affair with busty secretary Ingeborg. Seldom pausing for breath, Billy Wilders film is a crackling, mile-a-minute farce, taking satiric scatter shots at Coca-Cola, the Cold War (the film is set in the months just before the erection of the Berlin Wall), Russian red tape, Communist and capitalist hypocrisy, Southern bigotry, the German "war guilt," rock music, and even Cagney 's own movie image. Not all the gags are in the best of taste, and most of the one-liners have dated rather badly, but Cagneys mesmerizing performance holds the whole affair together.

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