One, Two, Three


One, Two, Three (1961)
Director: Billy Wilder
Actors: James Cagney, Horst Buchholz, Pamela Tiffin
Runtime: 115 min

Hilarious Cold War comedy made in 1961, the same year when began the construction of the Berlin Wall, probably the best known and most memorable symbol of the Cold War. The plot is simple: CEO of the West German Coca-Cola hosts the daughter of his boss from the US, but she soon falls for a communist from the East Berlin. This development drives this humorous and dynamic movie that brilliantly captured the spirit of the time and through excellent dialogues, it very effectively questioned the ruling narratives, both Eastern and Western.

Billy Wilder, Austrian Jew who fled from Berlin in 1933 when the Nazis came to power, made this dynamic movie that, through satire and comedy, confronts the Cold War madness and enormous tension that ruled divided Berlin that was the focal point of the divided world, which permanently lingered on the brink of nuclear war.

The Berlin Wall was erected by the government of East Germany, with the official name “Anti-Fascist Protection Rampart” (Antifaschistischer Schutzwall) implying that West Germany didn’t conduct the denazification process and that there is a continuity with the government from Nazi times. Moreover, the construction of the wall began on the night of 13 August 1961, while Billy Wilder was shooting the 1,2,3… in Berlin, forcing him to relocate from Berlin to Munich.

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