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One,Two,Three


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Product Details

  • Actors: James Cagney, Horst Buchholz, Pamela Tiffin, Arlene Francis, Howard St. John
  • Directors: Billy Wilder
  • Writers: Billy Wilder, I.A.L. Diamond, Ferenc Molnár
  • Producers: Billy Wilder, Doane Harrison, I.A.L. Diamond
  • Format: Black & White, Closed-captioned, Dubbed, DVD-Video, Subtitled, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English, French, Spanish
  • Dubbed: French, Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (US and Canada This DVD will probably NOT be viewable in other countries. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • MPAA Rating: NR
  • Studio: MGM (Warner)
  • Release Date: July 15 2003
  • Run Time: 115 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00005JKH5
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #64,041 in DVD (See Top 100 in DVD)

Product Description

Product Description

James Cagney gives one of the richest, funniest, most breathlessly paced performances of his career (The New York Times) in this Billy Wilder comedy that defrosts the Cold War with gales of laughter! C. R. MacNamara (Cagney), a top-ranking executive stationed in West Berlin, is charged with the care of his boss visiting daughter. But when he learns that she's gone and married a fierce young communistand that his boss will be arriving in town in 24 hoursMac must transform the unwilling beatnik into a suitable son-in-law or risk losing his chance for advancement! Before you cansay one, two, three, his plans have spun out of control and into an international incident that could infuriate the Russians, the Germans and, worst of all, his own suspicious wife (Arlene Francis)!

Amazon.ca

Hardly ever mentioned in the category of lightning-paced comedies--the His Girl Friday and Preston Sturges kind--is this breathless cold war farce from the great Billy Wilder. Adapted from a one-act play by Ferenc Molnár, Wilder and collaborator I.A.L. Diamond's hilarious screenplay is a whirlwind collection of one-liners, gags, and double-entendres, anchored for the cameras by Jimmy Cagney's cagey and frenetic performance (one of his best), and, under Wilder's direction, executed with diamond-like precision. The gangster-movie icon plays a Coca-Cola executive in West Berlin (the film's 1961 release put it squarely in the middle of the world's laserlike focus on East vs. West tensions) who has parlayed expanding American consumerism into a chance to break through the Iron Curtain and sell "the pause that refreshes" to thirsty comrades. But when his Atlanta boss's visiting 17-year-old daughter (Pamela Tiffin), a boy-crazy Southern tornado, reveals that she has secretly married an American-hating German Commie (Horst Buchholz), Cagney's big-American-fish-in-a-European-pond lifestyle is threatened, especially once Daddy hops a plane to Germany. As the plot accelerates, the lines literally spit out of the cast's mouths--the title refers to Cagney's character's rapid-fire rattling off of lists of tasks--and Wilder's penchant for urbane nastiness is perfectly measured by the order of the whole crazy circus. This movie takes gleeful potshots at both sides of a conflict that terrified audiences in its day, but has aged beautifully to become a fascinating time capsule, an exhilarating litany of zingers and a potent blueprint for razor-sharp political satire. Cagney would retire after this movie for 20 years (returning for 1981's Ragtime), and it's hardly any wonder: he has the energy of 10 performances in this one film. --Robert Abele --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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Most helpful customer reviews

Format: DVD
This movie is built on the crass stereotyping of national, regional, and personal characteristics: all Germans are heal-clicking former Nazis; Communists on the surface are dedicated ideologists but really crave a life of Western decadence; American southerners (men) are right-wing imbeciles navigating the complexities of life on a few cherished prejudices; young American (southern) women are insatiable nymphomaniacs (is that redundant?); and James Cagney is a one-dimensional actor. Such an underpinning for a movie would not seem, at first glance, to offer much promise. But the one-dimensional acting style of Cagney, which ruined Love Me or Leave Me (the movie with Doris Day based on the life of Ruth Etting), is perfect for this manic-paced farce. For nearly the entire movie, Cagney unleashes a barrage of breathless monologues, simultaneously exhausting and amazing the viewer.
That the movie is a farce does not mean it lacks a serious side. The stereotypes are so rigid, and played so extravagantly, that it is hard to escape the conclusion that the movie is designed to outrage those insulted (especially southerners) and mock anyone who agrees with the stereotypes. Cagney himself is mocked by an MP who does a Cagney imitation in response to one of Cagney's imperious orders. On another level, the movie can be seen as a critique of censorship. In the Soviet Union, all film had to toe the Communist ideological line. If the same standard were applied to US movies by US censors, the result might well be something like One, Two, Three. And indeed, to ideological purists the world is as simple as one, two, three.
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Format: VHS Tape
An ambitious American Coca-Cola executive in Berlin is a promising plot line which James Cagney and an excellent cast turn into a great comedy film. There are numerous small points that please the eye and add to the enjoyment of the film. The office staff springing to attention each time "the boss" enters the room is great. The administrative assistant who relexively clicks his heels each time Cagney addresses him - he barely resists the stiff armed salute, is another pleasing sequence. Cagney's passionate pursuit of his secretary is equally fun to watch - you realize that his wife will ultimately know, which adds to the fun and sense of inevitability.
Tasked with keeping an eye on his bosses daughter, who is mostly occupied with chasing boys, becomes Cagney's all consuming passion and concern. His total inability to carry out this task is what makes this movie so amusing. He can control Coca-Cola operations in Europe, but not a teenaged girl. Cagney's East German/Soviet Bloc opponents read like the "usual suspects" in send up movies, but they all work well in thier quest for the secret formula that makes Coke so successful. Cagney's cataloging of their failed attempts is side-spliotting. The double talk and double dealing is non-stop and excellently done and just adds to the fun of the film.
This is a film that is little known but it shouldn't be. Made at the end of Cagney's career, it highlights just how versatile he was as an actor and what a great comedic actor he was. Anyone with an interest in Cagney would enjoy this film and view it more than once.
This is also a chance to see Berlin before it was altered and changed by the erection of the Berlin Wall which was erected not too long after this film was made. It is Berlin as it once was and might be again.
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Format: VHS Tape
James Cagney is C.R. MacNamara, head of Coca Cola operations in West Berlin, faced with crisis after the Coca Cola tycoon's daughter he's been baby-sitting turns up married to and pregnant by an idealistic East German communist. Cagney is remarkably funny and quick witted as he battles Russian trade commissars, East German police, and matches wits with the young East German groom Otto Piffl, portrayed by Horst Buchholz. The action and humor is fast paced and demands the viewer to be well versed in historical foreign affairs, otherwise many of the gags and one-liners will fly over one's head.
It's a period piece, taking place in 1961 before the "Berlin Wall' went up that separated the East and West sectors. Much of the humor is at the expense of Germans and Russians; evident by MacNamara's German national heel-clicking staff that appears to be full of ex-Nazis that escaped trial, and several Russian trade commissars he deals with who are hard-core pupils of Premier Khrushchev. Although this picture lacks political correctness, its humor is wickedly funny and a guilty pleasure for those who appreciate the Cold War.
At the core of the crisis is Scarlett, the dim-witted daughter of MacNamara's boss, who secretly marries Piffl. Upon discovery, MacNamara attempts to de-rail the marriage by framing Piffl before the East German police as a perceived capitalist. The situation heats up when MacNamara then finds out that Scarlett is pregnant, and that her parents are flying into Berlin within the next couple of days. MacNamara, being the devious and ambitious person that he is, unfolds a scam to put the situation in order.
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