A Foreign Affair

If you’ve exhausted the recent spate of romantic comedies and most of the classics, too, you should try the new-to-tape gem A Foreign Affair. Director/co-writer Billy Wilder mixes light romance with hard-boiled wit in a story of a stiff-necked Iowa congresswoman (Jean Arthur) mired in jaded postwar Berlin. As she investigates the morale of American troops, she is cynically wooed by an Army scrounger (John Lund) who is trying to cover up his affair with a Nazi-tainted chanteuse (Marlene Dietrich).

Wilder peppers the love story with tart dialogue and satiric jabs at Midwestern naivete, plus a distinctly unsentimental, and funny, gag about a German boy who can’t break the habit of scribbling swastikas wherever he goes.

A Foreign Affair
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