One of director Billy Wilder's most frenetic comedies, the madcap Cold War and corporate politics satire One, Two, Three has to be one of the only films almost capable of making its Wilder predecessors Some Like It Hot and The Apartment seem sedately paced in comparison.
Featuring a hilarious lead performance by James Cagney (apparently so exhausted by the rapid-fire pace that he then retired for twenty years!), One, Two, Three hasn't always been as famous as Wilder's other comedies, but it's among his best.
Cagney is C.R. "Mac" MacNamara, a top Coca-Cola executive shipped off to (then West) Berlin and told to keep an eye on his boss' 17-year-old Atlanta socialite daughter Scarlett (Pamela Tiffin) while she visits Germany.
Scarlett's tour seems endless, and Mac discovers she's fallen for a (then East) Berlin communist agitator and the young couple are bound for Moscow. Mac has to bust up the burgeoning romance before his boss learns the truth, all the while dealing with his wife Phyllis (Arlene Francis) and her own impatience with German living.
With One, Two, Three, Wilder set out to make "the fastest picture in the world." Mission accomplished, so hang on and try not to miss too many gags if this is your first viewing of this knockabout comedy penned by Wilder's long-time screenwriter I.A.L. Diamond.