Tuesday, December 22, 2009

One, Two, Three, Twenty Years Since The Brandenburg Gate Reopens

Thirty years ago, December 22, 1989 Berlin's Brandenburg gate reopened allowing free travel back and forth through the Brandenburg Gate.

Recently I watched the 1961 Billy Wilder film One, Two, Three about a Coca-Cola man who is in West Berlin spreading the global reach of the beverage. James Cagney stars as a fast-talking business man, and he has a unique challenge when the boss' daughter falls in love with a communist.

This film, a goofy comedy, full of gags and one liners is also an interesting portrayal of American attitudes about communism at the start of the cold war.

In this film that Brandenburg Gate is opened and plays a significant role in the film, but at this point in history the Berlin Wall had not been built.

It's tricky to write a film about foreign crisis. It's hard to watch a film and wonder how different generations, watching at different times might think about this film. Is the subject to sensitive for some? At different points in the cold war would this film had been different? Are the jokes about communism East Berlin less comical over the time?

Anyways, what a great moment in history twenty years ago today, Helmut Kohl, the West German chancellor, walked through the gate, greeted by Hans Modrow.

1 comment:

Someone Said said...

One of my favorite films. Cagney's performance, despite not getting along with Wilder (or Horst Bucholtz, who kept trying, and failing, to upstage Cagney) on the set, is stunning. He has one or two rapid fire single take scenes that are incredible.

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