Image copyright © by Marcus Trahan

A Foreign Affair


Jean Arthur stars in a film by Billy Wilder that was shot in Berlin in 1947 just before the blockade by Russia. Or at least the exteriors were shot there, though I doubt the actors ever got closer to Germany than the Paramount lot on Melrose. Look carefully and you can see the rear projection in all the outdoor shots involving the stars. She is a congresswoman on a fact-finding mission to see how American money is being spent, and is shocked to discover a thriving black market, and former Nazis living under the protection of American officers. Marlene Dietrich is one of those former Nazis, a nightclub singer who has learned to survive. Jean falls for John Lund, but the romance doesn’t really work for me. I just didn’t like him. Maybe it would have worked better with somebody like Clark Gable … but then, what wouldn’t?