Well, yes, I had intended to write various pieces in this week about Greece, Sweden and Russia as well as the bizarre choice of Briton of the Year by the once august newspaper now an absolute rag, the Times. But, somehow, time has gone by and I decided to end the year with a few episodes from one of the greatest of all anti-Communist films, Billy Wilder's One, Two, Three.
First off, here is the best torture scene ever. The young man who admits to being "ein amerikanische spion" has actually been set up by the CEO of Coca Cola in West Berlin, played brilliantly by James Cagney, for various well-founded reasons, which he then regrets. But the scene with the Stasi and the subsequent appearance of the three Soviet commissars is well worth seeing.
I don't think this film is particularly well known so it is worth putting up several excerpts if only to encourage readers to seek it out. (At least one reader knows it already.)
So here is the beginning, one of the fastest moving, funniest, most brilliant beginnings to a film anyone can imagine.
Let us have one more scene. East German entertainment gets livened up as Cagney tries to trade with the Soviet commissars. And yes, the German guy's name is Piffle. Wouldn't you know it, as Cagney says on first meeting him.
Enough, already. Go and find the film.
What else can I add to the last posting of 2014? Oh yes. That Times Briton of the year, a somewhat shifty politician who has achieved nothing. The Times seems to have a very low opinion of the British people. I do not share it and I, as well as many others, resent the assumption behind that choice.
On that note, let me wish all my readers a very happy and prosperous New Year. See you next year.