The film's director Billy Wilder was born in a small town in the Austro-Hungarian Empire that now belongs to Poland. He studied in Vienna before living for many years in Berlin, where he became a screenwriter. In 1934, he moved to the United States, where he went on to win six Oscars. Yet it seems he remained a 'Berliner', given that this 1961 film is set in the city. The screenplay was adapted from Ferenc Molnár's one-act play of the same name. And to add further excitement to this apparently innocent American comedy: the Berlin Wall was pulled down during filming and they had to finish the shoot in the studio.
But let's not forget that One, Two, Three remains an American comedy. Which is why Billy Wilder made some changes to Ferenc Molnár's one-act play. Here, the all powerful bank director is a Coca-Cola Company director (James Cagney) in West Berlin, while the taxi driver becomes a good, faithful Communist boy (Horst Buchholz) from the eastern side of the city. A political comedy? And then some! While preserving the infinitely witty concept of Molnár's play, the film's dialogue is full of refe...rences, irony and self-deprecation, because Billy Wilder is able to both see and present Berlin as an American, and the Americans - both the Yankees and southerners - through European eyes. We also learn that sometimes the cultural bridges of Europe take a tortuous route, and can extend to more than one continent. Pretty enthralling. In his long, action-packed life, Billy Wilder wrote 84 screenplays and directed 27 films. His dialogues are utterly brilliant. Almost every one of his jokes has a double meaning, a spicy twist. They have also aged extremely well. Just to jog your memory: Ninotchka, The Lost Weekend, Witness for the Prosecution, Some Like It Hot, Irma la Douce, The Apartment, The Fortune Cookie... We could go on.
In English, with Hungarian subtitles.
The discussions before and after the screening will be conducted in Hungarian.
Presented by: Müpa Budapest
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