In Erinnerung an Eric Pleskow: One, Two, Three

Eins, zwei, drei
Billy Wilder
United States 1961
109 min

James Cagney is C.R. “Mac” MacNamara, an American Coca-Cola executive in West Berlin, attempting to market his product past the Iron Curtain. Saddled with watching the boss’s daughter, he is horrified when she hooks up with East German Communist Otto, with the boss due to arrive any minute. Billy Wilder was shooting his breathless comedy in Berlin when the Wall went up on August 13, 1961. His crew had to quickly scurry over to Munich to continue filming. Which points to the perfect timing of the political-themed comedy. ONE, TWO, THREE fires countless Cold War wisecracks while serving as a perfect showcase for Cagney, in his second-to-last movie role. Past the manic frenzy of the screwball comedy are many sly nods to the frosty Cold War relations between the East and the West. Mac bribes his way into East Berlin with a six-pack of Coke. Mac’s offce staff, used to following a dictator, still stands in unison when he enters a room, and his assistant and chauffeur both click their heels, S.S.-style. When Otto the proletariat refuses to wear boxer shorts, because they’re “useless,” Mac’s wife slyly nods, “No wonder they’re winning the Cold War.” A few Soviet comrades offer Mac Cuban cigars, noting, “We give them missiles, they give us cigars”; the following year saw the Cuban Missile Crisis. (Gwen Ihnat)

In memory of Eric Pleskow: ONE, TWO, THREE is shown in memory of Viennale President Eric Pleskow, who was for many years producer and later president of United Artists. With passion, acumen and never lacking humor, Eric Pleskow has supported the Viennale as President for more than twenty years. On October 26, we dedicate a matinee with ONE, TWO, THREE.

Tickets for this matinee are available at all Viennale pre-sale offices (Gartenbaukino, Metro, Schottentor and Stadtkino im Künstlerhaus) and by phone - but NOT ONLINE ! 


  • Mit James Cagney - C.R. MacNamara
  • Horst Buchholz - Otto Ludwig Piffl
  • Pamela Tiffin - Scarlett Hazeltine
  • Arlene Francis - Phyllis MacNamara
  • Liselotte Pulver - Sekretärin, Fräulein Ingeborg
  • Leon Askin - Peripetschikoff
  • Billy Wilder
  • I A.L. Diamond
  • Daniel L. Fapp
  • Daniel Mandell
  • André Previn
Bavaria Film, Pyramid Productions, The Mirisch Corporation
Park Circus
35 mm
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