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My last night in Budapest was terrific. At a remarkably preserved 1930’s Art Deco movie house on the Buda side of town, the Danube Institute held a screening of Billy Wilder’s breakneck comedy One Two Three.
It’s a Cold War comedy, set in 1961 before the Wall came up — awkwardly, the Berlin Wall was constructed during the filming, requiring the entire unit to decamp to Munich to finish the shoot. And it’s about as politically incorrect as imaginable. James Cagney stars in what was to be his final film, until the small role in Ragtime 20 years later.
The one-sheet was designed by the great Saul Bass:
But equal billing must be given to the gorgeous theater:
The highlight, for me, was the discussion afterwards. It’s quite a thing to be discussing Cold War politics and culture with an audience for whom it’s not an abstraction.