One, Two, Three (1961)


A Fast-paced madcap comedy that builds until the hysterrically funny “race against the clock” ending that makes this a Billy Wilder comedic masterpiece.

This was James Cagney’s last movie, except for a brief appearance 20 years later in “Ragtime.”  James Cagney was 62 years old.  This movie has fast dialog and unrealistic situations, but that also makes the laughs even greater toward the end…the whole idea is preposterous, but heck that’s classic Billy Wilder.  The goal of this movie is to make you laugh…and at times laugh hysterically.  Watch this with friends and you will hear audible laughter in places.

The movie moves at a pace that can make you dizzy, so be ready for some gags and more gags until you are worn out.

This movie was actually filled in West and East Berlin…but during filming East Berlin shut off communication from the West.  The Brandenburg Gate shown in the movie was the real one, but later in the movie they had to build a set because access to the gate was closed by East Berlin.  A year later the Berlin Wall was erected.

Perhaps what I like most of about this film is the diversity of the characters and situations they are in and how Billy Wilder LAMBASTS everyone.  He spares no one from the comedic rhetoric…posh executives, slutty secretaries, idealists, fanatics, devoted wives, teenagers, communists, capitalists, and hard-working everymen.  Everything goes screwy and everyone is thrown into the fire of awkward comedic situations.

I rated this movie 9 stars.  It is very funny and at times unmistakenly hilarious.  Just missed the mark a little bit with it’s fast pace that didn’t slow down, but that is probably what makes the movie so universally appealing.  No matter who you are, you will find some great entertainment here.

Todd Morgan
About Todd Morgan 56 Articles
Todd is one of nation's top classic movie experts, with a passion and determination to help the younger generation discover some of the truly greatest movies ever made. Todd reviews 2-3 movies every week and also prepares classic movie trivia, lists, writes books, and develops games all on Classic Movies. Contact him at

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