Trivia / One, Two, Three

  • Actor Allusion:
    • Red Buttons appears as an MP who does a "You dirty rat" impression to the face of CR MacNamara... played by James Cagney.
    • Cagney holds up a piece of fruit so it looks like his famous "grapefruit" scene from The Public Enemy.
    • When MacNamara tells Otto he must give the couple a wedding present Scarlett claims that Otto's friends did not give them any gifts but instead sent the money to unemployed cotton pickers of Mississippi. Cagney was accused of being a communist sympathizer for sending money to striking cotton workers in the 1930s.
    • To cause problems for Otto Piffl, MacNamara gives him a cuckoo clock that plays "Yankee Doodle," causing Buchholz to get arrested by the East Germany police. Cagney, of course, starred in Yankee Doodle Dandy.
  • Banned in China: The film was banned in Finland between 1962-1986 because it was feared that the film would harm Finnish-Soviet relations.The Finnish Board of Film Classification allowed the film to be shown in Finland in 1986.
  • Cast Incest: The guard at the Brandenburg Gate who is handed a six-pack of Coca-Cola when MacNamara, Fräulein Ingeborg and Schlemmer drive to East Berlin, is played by Helmut Schmid, Lilo Pulver's husband.
  • Fake Nationality: Apart from the German-speaking actors playing the Russians, Lilo Pulver, the actress playing Ingeborg, is actually Swiss.
  • Hostility on the Set: James Cagney named Horst Buchholz as the only actor he really hated working with because he was uncooperative and tried all kinds of scene-stealing moves, which Cagney depended on Billy Wilder to correct.
    I got riled at S.Z. Sakall [...] in Yankee Doodle Dandy for trying to steal a scene, but he was an incorrigible old ham who was quietly and respectfully put in his place by Michael Curtiz. No harm in the old boy. But this Horst Buchholz character I truly loathed. Had he kept on with his little scene-stealing didoes, I would have been forced to knock him on his ass, which I would have very much enjoyed doing.
  • Too Soon: Especially the Germans weren't very fond of Billy Wilder making fun of the Wall. The movie was Vindicated by History though - later, in 1985, and even became popular in former East Germany (because it parodied both sides of the Cold War).
  • Unintentional Period Piece: The film literally became a period piece during shooting — when the production started, the Berlin Wall had not been erected yet, and shooting could happen at the Brandenburg Gate. However, as filming continued, and they needed to film a chase between MacNamara and his companions and some East German policemen that continued over the border between East and West Berlin, East Germany very unobligingly decided to put up the Wall. The film is written and performed as if still in the pre-wall period.