Entertainment » Movies

A Foreign Affair

by Greg Vellante
EDGE Media Network Contributor
Thursday Aug 15, 2019
A Foreign Affair

The political background of certain films is always interesting to consider, and Billy Wilder's 1948 film "A Foreign Affair" is no exception. Wilder was serving in the United States Army in Germany during World War II, during which he was promised government assistance if he made a film about Allied-occupied Germany. He made due on this assurance by creating "A Foreign Affair," a story about a rigged Iowa congresswoman named Phoebe Frost (Jean Arthur) who is living in postwar Berlin.

While investigating the morale of American troops, she is wooed by another Iowan - Captain John Pringle (John Lund). Pringle is attempting to hide his affair with a Nazi-affiliated singer named Erika von Schl├╝tow (Marlene Dietrich). Satirical, funny and endearing, the film has political origins, yet becomes its own entity in its ultimate form.

Featuring original songs and excellent on-screen chemistry between its leads, "A Foreign Affair" is immensely enjoyable to watch. And better yet, you'll learn much about the film's rich history when you throw on the included audio commentary by film historian Joseph McBride that's included in the new Blu-ray release from Kino Lorber. Going into great detail on the film's creation and reception, McBride's commentary is an excellent, informative companion for an already-transfixing work of cinema.

Wilder, who directed such notable films as "Some Like It Hot," "Double Indemnity," and "Sunset Boulevard," brings us a classic comedic romance with "A Foreign Affair," and it's a joy to see the film restored and looking absolutely stunning on this Blu-ray release. Previously unavailable in the format, the film is marvelously displayed for modern audiences with a sharp picture and superb sound. It's a film that might be forgotten in Wilder's oeuvre, but it's definitely worthy of rediscovery. Thanks to Kino Lorber, audiences can now do exactly this. Both cynical and comedic, this is certainly one that's worth your purchase.

"A Foreign Affair"

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