One, Two, Three

One, Two, Three

James Cagney
Director: Billy Wilder Cast: James Cagney
James Cagney
, Horst Buchholz
Horst Buchholz
, Pamela Tiffin
Pamela Tiffin
Billy Wilder


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In his last starring film (it was supposed to be his last film, but Ragtime came along in 1981), James Cagney plays Coca-Cola executive C.R. MacNamara. Assigned to manage Coke's West Berlin office, MacNamara dreams of being transferred to London, and to do this he must curry favor with his Atlanta-based boss, Hazeltine (Howard St. John). Thus, MacNamara agrees to look after Hazeltine's dizzy, impulsive daughter, Scarlett (Pamela Tiffin), during her visit to Germany. Weeks pass, and on the eve of Hazeltine's visit to West Berlin, Scarlett announces that she's gotten married. Even worse, her husband is a hygienically challenged East Berlin Communist named Otto Piffl (Horst Buchholz). The crafty MacNamara arranges for Piffl to be arrested by the East Berlin police and to have the marriage annulled, only to discover that Scarlett is pregnant. In rapid-fire "one, two, three" fashion, MacNamara must arrange for Piffl to be released by the Communists and successfully pass off the scrungy, doggedly anti-capitalist Piffl as an acceptable husband for Scarlett. MacNamara must accomplish this in less than 12 hours, all the while trying to mollify his wife (Arlene Francis), who has learned of his affair with busty secretary Ingeborg (Lilo Pulver). Seldom pausing for breath, Billy Wilder's film is a crackling, mile-a-minute farce, taking satiric scattershots at Coca-Cola, the Cold War (the film is set in the months just before the erection of the Berlin Wall), Russian red tape, Communist and capitalist hypocrisy, Southern bigotry, the German "war guilt," rock music, and even Cagney's own movie image. Not all the gags are in the best of taste, and most of the one-liners have dated rather badly, but Cagney's mesmerizing performance holds the whole affair together. Billy Wilder and I.A.L. Diamond adapted their screenplay from an obscure play by Ferenc Molnár. Watch for Red Buttons in an unbilled cameo as a military policeman, and listen for the voice of Sig Rumann, emanating from the mouth of actor Hubert Von Meyerinck (the Count von Droste-Schattenburg).

Product Details

Release Date: 05/30/2017
UPC: 0738329215590
Original Release: 1961
Rating: NR
Source: Kl Studio Classics
Region Code: 1
Time: 1:55:00
Sales rank: 1,945

Special Features

Audio Commentary by Film Historian Michael Schlesinger; Billy Wilder on Politics and One, Two, Three; Billy Wilder and Volker

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
James Cagney C.R. MacNamara
Horst Buchholz Otto Ludwig Piffl
Pamela Tiffin Scarlett Hazeltine
Arlene Francis Phyllis MacNamara
Liselotte Pulver Ingeborg
Howard St. John Hazeltine
Hanns Lothar Schlemmer
Lois Bolton Mrs. Hazeltine
Leon Askin Peripetchikoff
Peter Capell Mishkin
Ralf Wolter Borodenko
Karl Lieffen Fritz
Henning Schluter Dr. Bauer
Til Kiwe Reporter
Karl Ludwig Lindt Zeidlitz
John Allen Tommy MacNamara
Christine Allen Cindy MacNamara
Rose Renee Roth Bertha
Helmut Schmidt East German Police Corporal
Otto Friebel East German Interrogator
Klaus Becker Policeman
Max Buchsbaum Tailor
Red Buttons Military Police Sergeant
Jasper VonOertzen Haberdasher
Hubert VonMeyerinck Count Von Droste-Schattenburg

Technical Credits
Billy Wilder Director,Producer,Screenwriter
William Calihan Production Manager
Josef Coesfeld Makeup
I.A.L. Diamond Associate Producer,Screenwriter
Daniel L. Fapp Cinematographer
Basil Fenton-Smith Sound/Sound Designer
Doane Harrison Associate Producer
Dan Mandell Editor
Tom Pevsner Asst. Director
André Previn Score Composer,Musical Direction/Supervision
Milt Rice Special Effects
Alexandre Trauner Art Director

Scene Index

Disc #1 -- One, Two, Three
1. Chapter 1 [18:07]
2. Chapter 2 [11:05]
3. Chapter 3 [15:50]
4. Chapter 4 [14:28]
5. Chapter 5 [7:15]
6. Chapter 6 [10:54]
7. Chapter 7 [14:24]
8. Chapter 8 [16:18]
9. Chapter 9 [:00]

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