alr

A Foreign Affair

Screening on Film
Directed by Billy Wilder.
With Jean Arthur, Marlene Dietrich, John Lund.
US, 1948, 35mm, black & white, 116 min.
Print source: Universal

In A Foreign Affair, the famously jaundiced sense of humor shared by Wilder and co-writer Charles Brackett was turned upon a remarkably timely subject: the interaction between the American occupiers and native Germans in war ravaged Berlin. The result is a deeply subversive comedy of manners that pits a corn-fed ingénue, played by Jean Arthur, against Marlene Dietrich’s sultry blackmarketeer, with both women vying for the affections of Army soldier John Lund, whose world-weary cynicism emblematized the Wilder anti-hero. Among the finest of Wilder’s early films, A Foreign Affair today remains strangely underappreciated—even despite Dietrich’s luminous presence in one of her great postwar roles. 

Part of film series

Read more

100 Years of Paramount Pictures

Other film series with this film

Read more

Major and Minor Notes: A Billy Wilder Centennial

Read more

Innocence Abroad

Current and upcoming film series

Read more

Afterimage… For a New, Radical Cinema

Read more

This Is Us. Two Films by Hong Sangsoo

Read more

Jean-Pierre Bekolo, 2024 McMillan-Stewart Fellow

Read more

The Practice (and Other Works) By Martín Rejtman

Read more

Chronicles of Changing Times. The Cinema of Edward Yang

Read more
Gene Hackman crouched beside a toilet with audio equipment

From the HFA Collection...

Read more

Being In a Place. Rediscovering Margaret Tait