June 24th, 2018

Weekend Event (Berlin): One, Two, Three

Well, what's a tribute to Berlin without the movie One, Two, Three? :)

This 1961 film stars James Cagney at the top of his game (ironically, it was his last film before he came out of retirement for 1981'a Ragtime), snapping off dialogue with crackling energy. The Cold War one-liners were fast and furious as Coca-Cola's Man in Berlin angled for a prestigious promotion while dealing with his boss's daughter, who married a Communist! Zounds!

Anyway, the movie was filmed before and released after the Berlin Wall went up, so it was somewhat of an anachronism on its debut!

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Movie Trailer (The Manchurian Candidate)

The past few years the comm has been observing the Korean War on its anniversary date of its start, June 25th (1950). It's not officially scheduled this year but I wanted to mention it, and chose The Manchurian Candidate as my offering.

This 1962 film is a chilling take on the concept of brainwashing, which became known in the 1950s, especially during the Korean War. What were the Communists doing to our POWs, especially those choosing to stay in Communist North Korea and China?

This movie dramatizes that question with stand-out performances by Frank Sinatra, Laurence Harvey, Janet Leigh, James Gregory, Leslie Parrish, and most notably, Angela Lansbury. Ms. Lansbury's performance was one of the most chilling ever seen on screen. She should have won an Oscar for this one!

Not many chuckles in this film (the level of violence is shocking for 1962) but if you watch it, pay particular attention to James Gregory's McCarthyesque character complaining about needing a firm number for his Communist witch hunt (not seen in the trailer). The next cut will make you laugh out loud. :)

The film was released on October 24, 1962, right in the middle of the Cuban Missile Crisis!

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