A FOREIGN AFFAIR
Directed by Billy Wilder
Starring Jean Arthur, Marlene Dietrich, John Lund
Screenplay by Charles Brackett, Billy Wilder, Richard L. Breen, Robert Harari
Approx. 116 min. 35mm/DCP.
As a jeep rolls through the ruins of Berlin, the soundtrack offers “Isn’t it romantic?” A black marketeering army captain romances dowdy Congresswoman Jean Arthur while dallying with nightclub-singer-with-a-past Marlene Dietrich, in Wilder’s uncompromising satire on the U.S. Occupation. James Agee found it “in rotten taste”—which is how most Wilder films over the next thirty years would be labeled.
"That great ex-Berliner Wilder's cynical, darkly funny look at postwar Berlin — a hive of bombed-out buildings, desperate citizens and black-market morality, run by the U.S. military with a slightly blind eye."
– Chicago Tribune
"Wilder's strategy is to play a bubbly romantic comedy in a mise-en-scene of destruction and despair. As usual, it's more clever than meaningful, but this 1948 film is one of his most satisfactory in wit and pace."
– Chicago Reader