Thursday, May 1, 2014

Flick Pick: One, Two, Three

One, Two, Three
(United Artists, 1961)

Billy Wilder's relentless comedy starring James Cagney and Horst Buckholz in the best send-up of communism ever. Cagney carries this picture from beginning to end, and just when you think it's going fast, Khachaturian's Sabre Dance kicks in on the soundtrack, and it hits afterburner. The pace and burden were so overwhelming that Cagney retired from movies for twenty years afterwards because "I felt I was slipping". If this is Cagney slipping, in gear he must have been a fireball. Filming was taking place in 1961 Berlin the day the Russians put up the Berlin Wall, and the movie was re-discovered by West Berlin audiences in 1985, forming no small amount of impetus and backdrop to Reagan's speech there when he uttered the famous "Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!" speech in 1987.
Happy May Day.

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