Dir. Ernst Lubitsch
USA 1939 | Black & white | 105 mins | Cert U | Comedy | Hollywood Classics
Cast: Greta Garbo, Melvyn Douglas
‘This picture takes place in Paris in those wonderful days when a siren was a brunette and not an alarm – and if a Frenchman turned out the light it was not on account of an air raid!’ – thus goes the prologue to Ninotchka. MGM’s publicity ads insisted that this Lubitsch comedy was the first time we’d heard Garbo laugh. Certainly the film was made notable by casting her in the unusually light role as the gloomy Soviet commissar whose icy ideology is melted by love, Paris and Melvyn Douglas’s smug hedonism (‘Ninotchka, it’s midnight: one half of Paris is making love to the other half’). Remade in 1957 as the musical Silk Stockings.
Available on: 35mm
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