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Ninotchka
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Ninotchka

4.7 4
Director: Ernst Lubitsch, Greta Garbo, Melvyn Douglas, Bela Lugosi

Cast: Ernst Lubitsch, Greta Garbo, Melvyn Douglas, Bela Lugosi

 

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"Garbo Laughs!" declared the ads for Ninotchka. In the face of dwindling foreign revenues, MGM decided to put Greta Garbo, a bigger draw in Europe than the US, in a box-office-savvy comedy, engaging the services of master farceur Ernst Lubitsch to direct. The film opens in Paris during the aftermath of the Russian revolution. A trio of Russian delegates (Sig

Overview

"Garbo Laughs!" declared the ads for Ninotchka. In the face of dwindling foreign revenues, MGM decided to put Greta Garbo, a bigger draw in Europe than the US, in a box-office-savvy comedy, engaging the services of master farceur Ernst Lubitsch to direct. The film opens in Paris during the aftermath of the Russian revolution. A trio of Russian delegates (Sig Rumann, Felix Bressart, and Alexander Granach) are sent to Paris to sell the Imperial Jewels for ready cash. Grand Duchess Swana (Ina Claire), who once owned the jewels, sends her boyfriend Count Leon (Melvyn Douglas) to retrieve the diamonds, and he turns the trio into full-fledged capitalists, wining and dining them all through Paris. Moscow then dispatches the humorless, doggedly loyal Comrade Ninotchka (Garbo) to retrieve both the prodigal Soviets and the gems. When Leon turns his charm on Ninotchka, she regards him coldly, informing him that love is merely a "chemical reaction." Even his kisses fail to weaken her resolve. Leon finally wins her over by taking an accidental fall in a restaurant, whereupon Ninotchka laughs for the first time in her life. She goes on a shopping spree and gets drunk, while Leon begins falling in love with her in earnest. As a bonus to the frothy script, by Billy Wilder and others, and its surefire star power, Ninotchka features what is perhaps Bela Lugosi's most likeable and relaxed performance.

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Richard Gilliam
Ninotchka connects the careers of 1930s directing great Ernst Lubitsch and future directing great Billy Wilder, who was among a quartet of writers who did credited work on this film. The film evidences the strength of both, Lubitsch's lighter style works together with Wilder's more cutting dialogue. The production values and tech credits are first-rate, with the glossy look and classy feel that were the hallmarks of MGM in this era. Greta Garbo, with more than a little self-parody, proves herself adept at comedy, and Melvyn Douglas shows why he was one of the screen's most in-demand romantic leads of the 1930s. This is one of the rare opportunities to see Bela Lugosi in a likable, non-horrific role, though it was, regrettably, Lugosi's last supporting performance in a high-budget film. Douglas, on the other hand, would unexpectedly emerge in later decades as one of the screen's best and most versatile dramatic actors.

Product Details

Release Date:
06/09/2015
UPC:
0883929447534
Original Release:
1939
Source:
Turner Classic Movie
Time:
1:50:00
Sales rank:
9,065

Special Features

Academy Award-Nominated short Prophet Without Honor; The Blue Danube cartoon; Theatrical trailer

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Greta Garbo Ninotchka
Melvyn Douglas Count Leon Dalga
Bela Lugosi Commissar Razinin
Sig Rumann Michael Iranoff
Felix Bressart Buljanoff
Ina Claire Grand Duchess Swana
Alexander Granach Kopalski
Gregory Gaye Count Alexis Rakonin
Rolfe Sedan Hotel Manager
Richard Carle Gaston
Monya Andre Gossip
Symona Boniface Actor
George Davis Porter
Jo Gilbert Streetcar Conductress
William Irving Bartender
Charles Judels Pere Mathieu, Cafe Owner
Armand Kaliz Louis, the Headwaiter
Sandra Morgan Actor
Frank Reicher Lawyer
Alexander Schoenberg Bearded Man
Harry Semels Neighbor-Spy
Tamara Shayne Anna
Florence Shirley Marianne
Edwin Stanley Lawyer
Kay Stewart Actor
Paul Weigel Vladimir
Elisabeth Williams Indignant Woman
Marek Windheim Manager
Wolfgang Zilzer Taxi Driver
Elinor Vandivere Actor
Jenifer Gray Cigarette Girl
Edwin Maxwell Mercier
Dorothy Adams Jacqueline, Swana's Maid
Bess Flowers Gossip
Mary Forbes Lady Lavenham
Lawrence Grant Gen. Saritsky
Peggy Moran French Maid
George Tobias Russian Visa Official

Technical Credits
Ernst Lubitsch Director,Producer
Adrian Costumes/Costume Designer
Charles Brackett Screenwriter
William H. Daniels Cinematographer
Jack Dawn Makeup
Randall Duell Art Director
Cedric Gibbons Art Director
Werner Richard Heymann Score Composer
Melchior Lengyel Screenwriter
Walter Reisch Screenwriter
Gene Ruggiero Editor
Billy Wilder Screenwriter
Edwin B. Willis Set Decoration/Design

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Ninotchka 4.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This movie is such a refreshing classic. The acting and script are both first rate. It should be viewed by anyone - teenager to decrepit type who enjoys comedy. Once you view this lovely flick you will see why people say, "they don't make 'em like this any more!" Greta Garbo and Melvyn Douglas are truly adorable together. Enjoy
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
but it's not hard to laugh at. I have been married to my husband for 7 years and the only time I remember him laughing during a movie is when we watched this one, the humor is very subtle but full of wit. One of the best classics out there