MacNamara is a managing director for Coca Cola in West Berlin in 1961, just before the Wall is put up. When Scarlett, the daughter of his boss, comes to West Berlin, MacNamara has to look after her, but this turns out to be a difficult task.
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Billy Wilder goes full manic—closer to Mel Brooks than Lubitsch, with a level of satire mostly limited to glib one-liners. But the pace and sustained frenzied energy astound. This is a masterclass in staging comedy in a CinemaScope frame, and it slows down to deliver a key line for disillusioned radicals: "Any civilization that produced William Shakespeare, the Taj Mahal, and striped toothpaste can't be all bad."
James Cagney has brilliant timing as a comedic actor here and Wilder and Diamond pen one of their funniest screenplays. For sheer number of laughs, I actually think this might be their best script, beating out even Some Like it Hot.
This is a brilliant, fast paced comedy with James Cagney at his comedic best in a movie that moves so fast you have to damn near catch your breath but it will be impossible because you will be laughing so damn hard.