Outstanding, on par with anything else that Wilder directed. The script from Brackett-Wilder is sarcastic, witty, and surprising to have made it past censors. John Lund is often cited as the weak link in the cast, but I enjoy his uncomfortable balancing to try and stay out of trouble. A great film, one of the first shot in postwar Germany, and one that deserves a higher placement in Wilder's body of work.
Notable for being one of the first Hollywood films to shoot on location in Berlin Post-WW2, it often feels like two films fighting for the same space; one being a light hearted romcom and the other being a more serious exploration of Germany's post-war aftermath and surviving in it. It is not so successful at combining the two. That being said it features a roster of great Hollywood talent and its very well shot.
One of the better Wilder films in terms of wit, sharpness, and the shameless portrayal of the morals of Berlin. Lund is utterly unforgettable, though, and Dietrich wavers somewhere between forced and natural.
Arthur is delightful and Dietrich simply divine. Pity about the lump of flesh devoid of charisma masquerading as a male lead worthy of the talents of the other stars. Wilder shoots the affair with elegance and a tonal flexibility that is at times both awe inspiring, misguided and unsettling. It doesn't always work, but, when Dietrich is onscreen prowling like a starving jungle cat in sequins, none of that matters.
The only reason A Foreign Affair falls short of a truly great one is the ending, but really the film is miraculous in that it DOES succeed at combining comedy with post-war aftermath: the situation is bleak AND some situations are funny.
3.5 stars going on 4.
(And how can Lund be regarded as the weak link here? )
One of Wilder's least successful efforts. Love Dietrich and Arthur, but they both feel a bit at odds with their characters, Arthur especially. This is no More The Merrier, which she excelled in just a few years earlier. Lund is pretty much the definition of wooden. Awful actor. See High Society for another example of his mediocrity. That film is saved a bit, however, by Sinatra, Crosby and Kelly's beauty. 2.5 stars