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One, Two, Three [Blu-ray]
(Billy Wilder, 1961)
Review by Gary Tooze
Theatrical: The Mirisch Corporation
Video: Kino Lorber
Region: 'A' (as verified by the Oppo Blu-ray player)
Disc Size: 24,604,140,300 bytes
Feature Size: 23,099,228,160 bytes
Video Bitrate: 24.94 Mbps
Case: Standard Blu-ray case
Release date: May 30th, 2017
Aspect ratio: 2.35:1
Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps
Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video
DTS-HD Master Audio English 1555 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1555 kbps / 16-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 16-bit)
Dolby Digital Audio English 256 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 256 kbps)
•Audio Commentary by Film Historian Michael Schlesinger
• Billy Wilder and Volker Schlondorff discuss ONE, TWO, THREE (3:08)
• Billy Wilder on Politics and ONE, TWO, THREE (6:03)
• Trailer for One, Two, Three (2:11)
Reversible sleeve cover art
Description:Hollywood great James Cagney (The Gallant Hours) gives one of the richest, funniest, most breathlessly paced performances of his career in this comedy that defrosts the Cold War with gales of laughter. C.R. Mac MacNamara (Cagney) is a top-ranking soda executive stationed in West Berlin who s responsible for his boss daughter (Pamela Tiffin, Come Fly with Me) while he s away on business. But when he learns that she's gone and married a fierce young communist (Horst Buchholz, The Magnificent Seven) and that his boss will be arriving in town in 24 hours, Mac must transform the unwilling beatnik into a suitable son-in-law or risk losing his chance for advancement! Before you can say "one, two, three," his plans have spun out of control and into an international incident that could infuriate the Russians, the Germans and, worst of all, his own suspicious wife. Legendary director Billy Wilder (Irma La Douce) directed and co-wrote this hilarious, fast-paced and lighthearted comedy with his twelve-time writing partner I.A.L. Diamond (Avanti!).
Coarse Cold War satire, structured largely as farce, with Cagney as the aggressive Coca-Cola executive in West Berlin, trying desperately to win advancement by selling the beverage to Russia, and simultaneously required to prevent his boss from discovering that the latter's bird-brained daughter has married a rabid Commie from East Berlin. Marvellous one-liners, of course, and Cagney, spitting out his lines with machine-gun rapidity in his final film until his belated appearance in 'Ragtime', is superb (and superbly backed by a fine cast).
In his last starring film (it was supposed to be his last film, but Ragtime came along in 1981), James Cagney plays Coca-Cola executive C.R. MacNamara. Assigned to manage Coke's West Berlin office, MacNamara dreams of being transferred to London, and to do this he must curry favor with his Atlanta-based boss, Hazeltine (Howard St. John). Thus, MacNamara agrees to look after Hazeltine's dizzy, impulsive daughter, Scarlett (Pamela Tiffin), during her visit to Germany. Weeks pass, and on the eve of Hazeltine's visit to West Berlin, Scarlett announces that she's gotten married. Even worse, her husband is a hygienically challenged East Berlin Communist named Otto Piffl (Horst Buchholz). The crafty MacNamara arranges for Piffl to be arrested by the East Berlin police and to have the marriage annulled, only to discover that Scarlett is pregnant. In rapid-fire "one, two, three" fashion, MacNamara must arrange for Piffl to be released by the Communists and successfully pass off the scrungy, doggedly anti-capitalist Piffl as an acceptable husband for Scarlett. MacNamara must accomplish this in less than 12 hours, all the while trying to mollify his wife (Arlene Francis), who has learned of his affair with busty secretary Ingeborg (Lilo Pulver). Seldom pausing for breath, Billy Wilder's film is a crackling, mile-a-minute farce, taking satiric scattershots at Coca-Cola, the Cold War (the film is set in the months just before the erection of the Berlin Wall), Russian red tape, Communist and capitalist hypocrisy, Southern bigotry, the German "war guilt," rock music, and even Cagney's own movie image.Excerpt from B+N located HERE
Image : NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.
The single-layered Kino Lorber Blu-ray of One, Two, Three looks impressive and consistent in 1080P. The black and white film is in the 2.35:1 aspect ratio. Contrast is well-layered with solid detail and plenty of depth exported. The source is very clean, and I noticed no noise or digitization. This Blu-ray gave me a very watchable, and pleasurable, viewing in regards to the picture quality. Highly pleasing.
CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION
The audio goes lossless with a robust DTS HD Master 2.0 channel transfer at 1555 kbps (16-bit) 24-bits in the original English language (with some German). No demonstrative effects in the film, but the score by André Previn (Dial 1119, Cause For Alarm!, The Fastest Gun Alive, Elmer Gantry, Long Day's Journey Into Night) is always augmented by the frequent playing of Aram Khachaturyan's, energetic, Sabre Dance. Some will also notice Richard Wagner's Ride of the Valkyries. It sounds marvelous. The dialogue was always clear. There are optional English subtitles (see sample above) offered and my Oppo has identified it as being a region 'A'-locked.
Kino add an informative audio commentary by film historian Michael Schlesinger who shares his love of the film, sprinkling in plenty of data about the production, Germany, Cagney, branding (Coke, Kleenex, Pan-Am etc.), references (Gone With the Wind, Yankee Doodle Dandy etc.), and some of the topical political current events at the time of the film. It was rewarding. We also get 3-minutes of Billy Wilder and Volker Schlondorff discussing One, Two, Three, and from that same video 6-minutes of Wilder talking about the politics of One, Two, Three. There are trailers for One, Two, Three, Witness For the Prosecution, The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes, and The Gallant Hours. The case has reversible sleeve cover art (see image below).
May 19th, 2017
About the Reviewer: Hello, fellow Beavers! I have been interested in film since I viewed a Chaplin festival on PBS when I was around 9 years old. I credit DVD with expanding my horizons to fill an almost ravenous desire to seek out new film experiences. I currently own approximately 9500 DVDs and have reviewed over 5000 myself. I appreciate my discussion Listserv for furthering my film education and inspiring me to continue running DVDBeaver. Plus a healthy thanks to those who donate and use our Amazon links.
Although I never wanted to become one of those guys who
focused 'too much' on image and sound quality - I
find HD is swiftly pushing me in that direction.
Oppo Digital BDP-83 Universal Region FREE Blu-ray/SACD
Gary W. Tooze
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