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ONE TWO THREE, 1961
Classic Movie Review

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ONE TWO THREE MOVIE POSTER
ONE TWO THREE, 1961
Movie Reviews

Directed by Billy Wilder
Starring: James Cagney, Horst Buchholz
Review by Euboea Brown



SYNOPSIS:

Comedy about Coca-Cola's man in West Berlin, who may be fired if he can't keep his American boss's daughter from marrying a Communist.

REVIEW:

One Two Three is a fast-paced comedy focusing on a man's strive to keep his presence in a variety of economic systems.

Mr. MacNamara works for the well-known American company Coca-Cola in a separated Berlin during the 1960s. He has been with the company for over 15 years and received an earful about a promotion which will put him to the top of this fast-growing business.

MacNamara has put himself and Coca-Cola first over his family, who live in the shadows filled with false promises and hostilely revoked arrangements all to suit the company's needs to be gainfully successful. He understands that running this large company requires a lot of patience and for him to be alert to the unexpected. His family's vacation plans change when the credulously impossible boss' teenage daughter pays an unplanned extended stay with him and his family. On top of this, young Scarlett Hazeltine randomly marries a lower class East Berlin communist, Otto Piffl, who whole-heartedly opposes the capitalistic American standards of living. It is a mad rush for MacNamara to get Mr. Haxeltine to approve of his irresponsible negligence while trying to decide whether his family has a higher value than the position he holds.

One, Two, Three also focuses on the contrasting values of MacNamara and Piffl, comedic American cultural references as well as through Otto's strong resistance to being apart of the American lifestyle and the ingrained mannerisms of Schlemmer and MacNamara's personel. One can enjoy Macnamara's enthusiasm, but will wonder, alongside his wife, whether or not he sees how his efforts towards Coca-Cola are directly effecting his final product: his family.

MacNamara' has a sexy, blonde secretary by the name of FrauleinIngeborg. She is oogled at by all and wanted by many. A girl who is all about fun, is the girl every man wants by his side. MacNamara uses her as a bargaining piece several times throughout the film. Fraulein Ingeborg does her jobs as long as she gets fringe benefits.

This film is shot in black and white. The lack of vibrant colors does not take away from the comedic momentum. One will get caught up in the fastball dialogue and rising tension, thus not noting this lack of hues until until it is mentioned in a line. Bill Wilder wrote and directed One, Two, Three. Other writingsinclude Double Indemnity (1944), Casino Royale (1967), Some Like It Hot (1959), and Kiss Me Stupid (1964). James Cagney is not shy to the camera. His familiar face can be seen dishing out laughs in Footlight Parade (1933), Here Comes the Navy (1934), Lady Killer (1933), and Hard to Handle (1933).

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