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NINOTCHKA, 1939
Movie Review


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NINOTCHKA MOVIE POSTER
NINOTCHKA, 1939
Movie Reviews

Directed by Ernst Lubitsch
Starring: Greta Garbo, Elvyn Douglas, Bela Lugosi
Review by Patrick Askin



SYNOPSIS:

A stern Russian woman sent to Paris on official business finds herself attracted to a man who represents everything she is supposed to detest.

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REVIEW:

"Ninotchka" from MGM released in 1939 and directed by the incomparable Ersnt Lubitsch is one of the great all -time comedies from the classic film era. This movie is like a fine champagne, it is delicate, bubbly and gets better with each viewing. The movie stars GRETA GARBO and is famous for the tag line "GARBO LAUGHS." She is simply marvelous as a dour Soviet official with no sense of humor sent to Paris to oversee her incompetent but lovable co-workers who have bungled selling Soviet goods to the French.

The movie is basically a subtle satire of THE SOVIET UNION and also a subtle glorification of all things Capitalism. One of my favorite lines in the film is when Melvin Douglass who plays the charming French aristocrat Count Dagou meets the overly serious GARBO he says" Oh A Russian, I love Russians, I've been admiring you five year plan for fifteen years."

So Count Dagou and Ninotchka(Garbo) end up falling in love despite their differences which sets a a confrontation of cultures and lots of comic twists in the plot. Garbo' s supporting cast is full of wonderful character types and film also stars the wonderful INA CLAIRE as the former Grand Duchess Swana from Czarist Russia now living in exile in Paris.

Ersnt Lubitsch was a German emigree who's directing style was known as the "Lubitsch touch" and it is never better than in this film. No one was better at sophisticated comedy than he was. There are so many great moments in this film but the comedy is subtly funny not laugh out load uproariously funny.The movie was released in 1939 which is considered the most Golden year of the Golden era. It received many Academy award nominations but that was the year of "Gone with the Wind" so it was overshadowed a bit. Garbo was nominated for Best Actress and it's a shame she never won one because not only was she a great beauty she was also a wonderful actress and it's too bad she didn't make more comedies. Her talent like her beauty is timeless and she has a wonderful time here poking fun here at her own image.

All the elements of this film come together perfectly between the great writing, directing and acting. I've watched this film over ten times and it just gets better each time and it is about as perfect a movie as you can get. Unfortunately this sort of sophisticated type of comedy is sorely lacking in today's films. When you watch this movie it doesn't feel dated, there is always a market for satire and I think there is still an audience today for this type of movie.

So if you going to pick one comedy to watch from the Golder Age of Hollywood you can't do any better the "Ninotchka." But I suggest you watch it more than once because there are many little moments to cherish here. And if you are a Garbo fan or have never heard of her then this is also. a must see film


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