A FOREIGN AFFAIR BLU RAY

Billy Wilder is for many, one of the greatest film makers of his or any age. Remembered for his blackly comic masterpiece SUNSET BOULEVARD but equally well known for his romantic comedy SOME LIKE IT HOT or his two best picture winning films THE LOST WEEKEND and THE APARTMENT. Wilder never failed to extract the dark from the light. He never failed to be on the money, and like his greatest film ACE IN THE HOLE, he never shied away…

American troops in Berlin morale, may or may not be an issue. Well no one is sure so the US government send in a group to get answers. They are to meet and greet those very service men. Phoebe Frost (Jean Arthur) is a naive but inquisitive type. Captain John Pringle (John Lund), is a man with a varied set of ideas on how and why America is there.  Erika von Schlütow (Marlene Dietrich ) is a Nazi-tainted chanteuse who might have a story to tell. These things collide in a mission of men and morale.

I have seen boxers jab less hard in bouts then Wilder. Dont believe those who say, Wilder is a man who has a dry wit but an eye for the lady. He has a dry wit but he also is cutting. Maybe it was because he escape Berlin and had to bring himself back to the business in the US. Maybe, as we see with his early German work, it is he senses the human inside the condition. A FOREIGN AFFAIR is far less a romance than it is a satire on post war involvement and the cynical quest for peace. Or should that be a piece of the pie…Europe flavoured of course…

DISC

We didnt see the disc, just a screening link. This said it has a lot to be proud of. A hidden gem that has aged well and whose cinematography is lit and fresh. The presentation 1080 p has no hiss no bleed and no light loss.

EXTRAS

I didn’t see any as we had none to review. But we did get a link for the video essay. From Berlin to Hollywood: Wilder and Dietrich s Foreign Affair. I really like Kat. She brings a head of film language, mode, median and history to the piece. I like the detail on the cast and the points on Wilder as a cynic and an optimist returning home. I am also going to say that I would like to hear other voices on the work that are female and are as well informed. No offence to Kat but we need a new light in the dark…

BLU-RAY SPECIAL FEATURES

  • 1080p presentation on Blu-ray
  • Uncompressed LPCM 2.0 audio
  • Audio commentary by film historian Joseph McBride
  • From Berlin to Hollywood: Wilder and Dietrich s Foreign Affair – A video essay by Kat Ellinger
  • Two radio adaptations of A Foreign Affair, broadcast as part of the Screen Directors Playhouse in 1949 and 1951. Featuring the voices of Billy Wilder, Marlene Dietrich, Rosalind Russell, John Lund, and Lucille Ball
  • Archival interview with Billy Wilder
  • Theatrical trailer
  • A collector s booklet featuring new writing by film historian Alexandra Heller-Nicholas; a new essay by critic Richard Combs; and archival material

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