Countdown to 5K! – #50 – One, Two, Three (1961)

This is my 4975th Review

Original Rating prediction – 7/10


“[voiceover] Some of the East German police were rude and suspicious. Others were suspicious and rude.” – C.R. MacNamara

Number of Times Seen – 1 (12 Feb 2019)

Brief Synopsis – A coca-cola executive in Germany must watch after the daughter of one of his bosses after she shows up with a new fiancee.

My Take on it – This is yet another film that I knew very little about before choosing it for this series.

AS a fan of Billy Wilder’s films, I knew that the odds were quite good that I’d find this enjoyable.

Thankfully, it was quite funny from start to finish.

Billy Wilder and his writing partner IAL Diamond do a wonderful job keeping things fun throughout.

I’m use to seeing James Cagney in gruff roles or musicals so I was slightly concerned that this kind of comedic role wouldn’t suit him, but he is able to shrug off the mean demeanor of many of his characters and give a really fun performance here.

There is lots of Cold War humor that when seen from the perspective of people from the West at that time, it makes a lot of sense that people behind the Iron Curtain would act in such a way.

Many of the jokes in this film work beautifully and are spot on.

The story itself moves along at a great pace and there is always something happening throughout so if one blinks, it’s possible to miss some key element of the story.

The comedy is a great blend of both physical and verbal comedy and works quite well throughout.

Bottom Line – Wilder and Diamond keep this story so much fun throughout. Cagney is great in the comedic lead and despite his usual gruff demeanor is able to handle the funny situations quite well. They do a nice job adding in lots of Cold War humor that makes fun of the way that the Iron Curtain was perceived by those in the West at the time. Many of the jokes are spot on and work beautifully.  The story has great momentum from start to finish and there is constantly something going on.  The comedy is both physical and verbal so if you look away for a second or even blink, you’re probably gonna miss something quiet humorous. Recommended!

MovieRob’s Favorite Trivia – In an early scene, MacNamara begins negotiating with the three Russians, who offer him a Cuban cigar. The Russians tell MacNamara that they have a trade agreement: “We send them rockets, they send us cigars.” What was written as a joke later turned out to be the truth–within one year (October 1962), Russian missiles were discovered in Cuba. (From IMDB)

Rating –Globe Worthy (8/10)


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3 thoughts on “Countdown to 5K! – #50 – One, Two, Three (1961)

  1. More dialogue per screen minute than anything wilder had ever done. the explosive pace at which Cagney delivered his lines was a wonderment. It was Cagney’s last film before he retired – until he was talked out of retirement decades later for his final screen performance – as the corrupt Police Commissioner in “Ragtime”.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: Temporal Top Ten – 1961 | MovieRob

  3. Pingback: Did They Get it Right? – Best Supporting Actress – Oscars 1961 | MovieRob

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