7.4/10
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55 user 33 critic

A Foreign Affair (1948)

Approved | | Comedy, Drama, Romance | 20 August 1948 (USA)
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 »
Reviews
Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 1 nomination. See more awards »

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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 ...

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Romance

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | German

Release Date:

20 August 1948 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

La mundana 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 »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Because there was no raw film stock to be found in Berlin, the production had to bring its own from America. See more »

Goofs

When the Americans are flying over Berlin, the scenery outside Phoebe's (Jean Arthur's) window never changes. See more »

Quotes

Phoebe Frost: [Addressing her fellow committee members, as she and a Congressional committee are in a plane on the approach to Berlin] Perhaps I should remind you why we were sent to Berlin... We're here to investigate the morale of American occupation troops, nothing else. 12,000 of our boys are policing that pest hole down below and according to reports, they are being infected by a kind of moral malaria. It is our duty to their wives, their mothers, their sisters, to find the facts. And if these reports ...
See more »

Connections

Featured in Cinema's Exiles: From Hitler to Hollywood (2009) See more »

Soundtracks

Illusions
(uncredited)
Written by Friedrich Hollaender
Sung by Marlene Dietrich
See more »

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User Reviews

 
A Moment in Cinema: Dietrich Sings "Black Market"
20 February 2005 | by drednmSee all my reviews

in this excellent and underrated Billy Wilder film. Dietrich plays a former Nazi trying to hide behind a post-war American boyfriend. Jean Arthur plays a spinster American congresswoman, and John Lund is the man they both fall for. The scenes of bombed-out Berlin are astonishing, and the 3 stars are wonderful in this sly comedy that gets better with every viewing. The highlights tho are Dietrich's musical numbers sung in a basement speakeasy. She sings the great "Black Market" with composer Frederick Hollander at the piano. She sings LIVE and it's electrifying. She also sings "The Ruins of Berlin" and "Lovely Illusions." Jean Arthur is also good in one of her last films. Millard Mitchell, Bill Murphy, Stanley Prager, and Gordon Jones co-star. A must!


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