"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.
One, Two, Three
Action / Comedy
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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. His wife Phyllis wants him to get a steady, stable job back in head office in Atlanta. His West Berlin staff is still used to treating him like their old master, the Führer. The one exception is his secretary Ingeborg, who is the latest in his long line of 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, 17-year-old spoiled partygirl 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 longer than expected. On the day that Mac learns that Mr. and Mrs. Hazeltine will be in Berlin in 24 hours to retrieve their daughter, he learns that Scarlett has married Otto Ludwig Piffl, a staunch East German Communist. Mac feels this marriage will ruin his career and does whatever he can to get rid of Otto for good and wipe any record of the marriage off the official books. But when Mac further learns that Scarlett is pregnant, he must get Otto back, which is more difficult than getting rid of his was, and to make him respectable in Mr. Hazeltine's eyes. Meanwhile, Phyllis has her own ideas of what is right and wrong in both Scarlett's and Mac's lives and takes appropriate action.
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A Delightful Comedy
A hilarious and one of a kind film
Most fans of Jimmy Cagney know that he could talk a mile a minute in his films. Few actors had quite the gift for gab on screen like Cagney, but this film manages to take his frenetic personality and shift it into overdrive!! It's like the usual Cagney film combined with a massive dose of speed!! The end result is very impressive--in particular for Cagney, as he practically carried the film with his energy and lightning pace.
Cagney plays a top executive for Pepsi in West Berlin, but he has his sights set much higher with the company. When an even bigger-wig entrusts his daughter with Cagney during her visit to Berlin, chaos ensues and the film is a great Cold War comedy.
This daughter, it turns out, is pretty wild and pretty dumb! So wild and dumb that she falls in love with and marries a rabid Communist after she runs off from Cagney's supervision. Instead of panicking, Cagney sets in motion an amazingly complex and insane plan to make this marriage work out and be acceptable to her parents!! In effect, he is like Professor Higgins from MY FAIR LADY but does it all in much less time!! Along the way, there are many wonderful laughs about the Cold War and the uneasy alliance the ex-Nazis of Berlin have made with NATO. For examples, every time Cagney talks to his German assistant, the guy clicks his heels like a German soldier and when the new husband is picked up by and when the Russians capture the new husband (thinking he's a Capitalist spy),they torture him by playing the song "Itsy, Bitsy, Teeny, Weeny" until he cracks!! Lots of laughs, lots of clever writing, great acting and Billy Wilder's amazing direction make this a treat to watch.
fast talking Billy Wilder comedy
C.R. 'Mac' MacNamara (James Cagney) is a Coca-Cola exec in charge of the West Berlin operations. Tension is rising across the Iron Curtain. It's a little over a year before the start of the Berlin Wall. He's trying to introduce Coke to the East. The communists want the secret formula. There is his sexy secretary Fräulein Ingeborg. His wife wants a quiet life in Atlanta. His boss dismisses expanding into Russia and asks Mac to care for his clueless party-girl daughter Scarlett Hazeltine.
The talk is fast-paced. The humor is broad and full of Wilder wordplay. Cagney is an unrelenting engine. He is buzzing with energy and I half-expected him to explode in song and dance. The machine gun dialog is non-stop and can get tiring at some point. This is a feat of performance from the great Cagney.