I’ve never wanted to see Billy Wilder‘s A Foreign Affair (’48) and I probably never will see it for one basic, fundamental reason. Male lead John Lund isn’t good enough to romance (i.e., have carnal relations with) Marlene Dietrich or Jean Arthur. Yes, it’s that simple.
When I say “not good enough” I mean he’s not an A-lister. Clark Gable, Gary Cooper, Gregory Peck, Frank Sinatra, Gene Kelly, Kirk Douglas or John Wayne would’ve been acceptable, but not Lund. I will never patronize a film in which a B-level actor (especially one with a Gable-like moustache) gets down with an A-level actress. Bad for morale, bad all over.
Lund, who died in 1992 at age 81, was eulogized in a London Times obituary as follows: “[His] film career was cut to a familiar pattern: the young actor imported to Hollywood after a big success on Broadway begins by playing the handsome guy who gets the girl, then descends by gradual degrees to being the male lead in minor westerns and occasionally, in major films, being the handsome guy who does not get the girl because he lacks the spark of the hero who does.”