A Foreign Affair

Synopsis: A congressional committee visits occupied Berlin to investigate G.I. morals. Congresswoman Phoebe Frost, appalled at widespread evidence of human frailty, hears rumors that cafe singer Erika, former mistress of a wanted war criminal, is "protected" by an American officer, and enlists Captain John Pringle to help her find him...not knowing that Pringle is Erika's lover.
Genre: Comedy, Drama, Romance
Director(s): Billy Wilder
Production: Paramount Pictures
  Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 1 nomination.
Rotten Tomatoes:
116 min

Congressmen, we're now

flying over the heart of Berlin.


Over 75,000 tons of explosives

were dropped here.

British Lancasters by night,

American Fortresses by day.

I heard Russian artillery had a little

part in it too, if you don't mind.

Sure they did and I wish

they'd pay us for all those cannons.

Hey, quit juggling. Film like this

is good stuff around election time.

The incumbent overseas.

Pennecot, don't you want to see it?

Look at it.

Like pack rats been gnawing at a hunk

of old mouldy Roquefort cheese.

Miss Frost? Congresswoman Frost?

- Present.

- We're flying over Berlin.

Well, don't you want to see it?

One thing at a time.

You got quite a sight coming.

Looks like chicken innards at frying time.

Considering the taxpayers' money

poured on it,

I don't expect it to look

like a lace Valentine.


(Man) Well, that's rough doing.

That sure is rough doing.

(2nd man) They ought to put in grass

and move in a herd of longhorn.

Build up their industries.

Get those smokestacks belching again.

- Not without organised labour.

- We got to feed the people.

You can't keep a country

eating scraps out of garbage pails.

I'm all for sending food,

only let 'em know where it's from.

I object to dollar diplomacy.

- But you don't mind sending food.

- There's a difference.

If you give a hungry man bread,

that's democracy.

If you leave the wrapper

on, it's imperialism.

Gentlemen, these are

very grave problems indeed

but they don't happen to be

the problems of this committee.

Perhaps I should remind you

why we were sent to Berlin,

since our chairman,

Mr Pennecot of New Hampshire,

has been indisposed ever since

we took off from Washington.

We're here to investigate the morale

of American occupation troops,

nothing else.

that pest hole down below

and according to reports, they are being

infected by a kind of moral malaria.

It is our duty to their wives, their

mothers, their sisters, to find the facts.

And if these reports are true,

to fumigate that place with

all the insecticides at our disposal.

If you'll pardon me,

we're approaching Tempelhof Airfield.

(Man) Oh, God, if they haven't got

a reception out for us.

(2nd man) A band and everything.

(3rd man) They'll be

glad to see home folks.

Men, once more it is our honour and

privilege to welcome a visiting committee.

Lately they seem to be coming

as regularly as the electric bill.

This time it's not just VIPs.

This time we're getting VIPIs.

Very Important Persons Indeed.

Some Congressional committee

to investigate our morale.

Seems back home, they've got an idea

this here is one great big picnic,

that all we do is swing in hammocks

with blonde Fruleins,

swap cigarettes for castles on the Rhine

and soak our feet in sparkling Mosel.

Well, let's not kid ourselves.

Some of you do go

overboard once in a while.

Maybe some of you are working too hard

to enlighten the civilian population

and maybe some of you

PX millionaires have found out

you can parlay a pack of cigarettes

into something more than 20 smokes.

After all, this isn't a Boy Scout camp.

We've got a tough job on our hands

and, by and large,

I think we're handling it darn well.

For my dough, we're on the ball.

Most of us, anyway... most of the time.

What they've got to realise is you can't

pin sergeant's stripes on an archangel.

Now, this committee

is going to be here for five days.

Let's give them as good

an impression as possible.

Not pussyfooting

around with a phoney attitude.

That's not fair to them or us.

I'm counting on you men to behave, period.

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Charles Brackett

Charles William Brackett (November 26, 1892 – March 9, 1969) was an American novelist, screenwriter, and film producer, best known for his long collaboration with Billy Wilder. more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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