7.3/10
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63 user 50 critic

A Foreign Affair (1948)

Approved | | Comedy, Drama, Romance | 20 August 1948 (USA)
Trailer
1:01 | Trailer
In occupied Berlin, an army captain is torn between an ex-Nazi café singer and the U.S. congresswoman investigating her.

Director:

Billy Wilder

Writers:

Charles Brackett (screenplay), Billy Wilder (screenplay) | 3 more credits »
Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Photos

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Jean Arthur ... Congresswoman Phoebe Frost
Marlene Dietrich ... Erika Von Schluetow
John Lund ... Captain John Pringle
Millard Mitchell ... Colonel Rufus J. Plummer
Peter von Zerneck Peter von Zerneck ... Hans Otto Birgel
Stanley Prager ... Mike
William Murphy ... Joe (as Bill Murphy)
Raymond Bond Raymond Bond ... Congressman Pennecot
Boyd Davis Boyd Davis ... Congressman Giffin
Robert Malcolm ... Congressman Kramer
Charles Meredith ... Congressman Yandell
Michael Raffetto ... Confressman Salvatore
Damian O'Flynn ... Lieutenant Colonel
Frank Fenton ... Major Mathews
James Lorimer James Lorimer ... Lieutenant Hornby (as James Larmore)
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Storyline

A congressional committee visits occupied Berlin to investigate G.I. morals. Congresswoman Phoebe Frost, appalled at widespread evidence of human frailty, hears rumors that cafe singer Erika, former mistress of a wanted war criminal, is "protected" by an American officer, and enlists Captain John Pringle to help her find him...not knowing that Pringle is Erika's lover. Written by Rod Crawford <puffinus@u.washington.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

It would make a cigar store Indian laugh ... See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Romance

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

For one take, Billy Wilder replaced John Lund with Ray Milland and the studio didn't notice. See more »

Goofs

Though the character played by Jean Arthur is an 'unmarried' American Congresswoman, the actress's real life wedding ring is visible in many scenes especially close-ups during the latter part of the film. See more »

Quotes

Mike: You know, you're a nice little strudel!
Joe: Hey, hands off! I saw her first.
Phoebe Frost: Ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha
See more »

Connections

Featured in Marlene Dietrich: Shadow and Light (1996) See more »

Soundtracks

Meadowlands
(uncredited)
Written by Lev Knipper and Viktor Gusev
Sung by chorus (Soviet soldiers)
See more »

User Reviews

 
The Work of a Master Craftsman
29 October 2005 | by B24See all my reviews

For the two decades after World War II, there was a popular fascination involving films about or made in a reconstructed Europe. From The Search to The Great Escape, a genuine sense of authenticity maintained, sustained by writers, actors, and directors who had actually lived through the epoch. Most of them are now gone, not the least of which was one of the finest directors ever: Billy Wilder.

In this film, there are few stock caricatures once the viewer is able to get past certain allusions to contemporary popular culture (e.g. Who now remembers who "Gabriel Heatter" was?). Even the line "Is it subversive to kiss a Republican?" has a fresh ring to it. The writers must have been pleased with Wilder's usual fast-paced and witty visual turns accentuating their remarkable script.

Of course there is Marlene Dietrich the icon in effect playing herself as a postwar blue angel, and real Germans speaking real German where the story demanded it. Jean Arthur provides an able if somewhat overdrawn foil for La Dietrich, and has a little fun at it. In one scene, she coyly admits her first name is "Phoebe," which happens to be the name of a character she played years earlier in a western called Arizona (1940).

Wilder would revisit Berlin again in 1961 for the hilarious send-up One, Two, Three -- still a great favorite and indeed a classic film.


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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | German

Release Date:

20 August 1948 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Operation Candy Bar See more »

Filming Locations:

Berlin, Germany

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Box Office

Budget:

$1,500,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Paramount Pictures See more »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

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