- Acting of Lead Performers
- Acting of Supporting Cast
- Music Score
- Title Sequence
- Historical Importance
- Would You Recommend?
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Ninotchka: Perfect Storm Of Greatness
- Doc Long
When it comes to screen presence there is no actress that captures the attention of the audience like Greta Garbo. When it comes to Film Directors no one has ever done it better than Ernst Lubitsch. Add in the lanky epitome of sophisticated 1930s cool in Georgia-native Melvyn Douglas, toss in the satirical writing of Billy Wilder and wrap it all around pre-World War II Paris and you have the setting for a masterpiece. Known as the movie where "Garbo laughs" at last, she takes the baton and runs with it in this romantic comedy along with Douglas and a cast that produces outstanding performances from the beloved Felix Bressart, "the gentle giant" Sig Ruman (later to play "Sgt. Schulz" in Billy Wilder's 1953 classic Stalag 17), long-suffering George Tobias and even Bela Lugosi as the Commissar. Story concerns a trio of Russian Communists visiting Paris in the springtime and deciding not to complete their assignment in a timely manner thereby avoid going back to Russia. Garbo, as a military official, is ordered to Paris to complete their mission, retrieve the group and bring them home. And then, well you get the idea. One can look- but never find- a richer or more enjoyable story of true love persevering over all the obstacles put in its path. Nominated for 4 Academy Awards including Best Picture of 1939, the Oscar that year went to Gone With The Wind.
Scintillating Stars' Satire
- Will Fox
Simmering star, Greta Garbo displays rare comic flair so naturally in "Ninotchka," that few may guess, that this is her first role, as leading lady in comedy. Matched brilliantly by savvy, suave sophisticate, Melvyn Douglas smoothly slides lawyer loyalties from rich Russian royal, Grand Duchess Swana (and re-capturing her Communists-confiscated jewels), to learning to love ironically charismatic, committed Communist, Ninotchka. She is sent to seductive, City of Lights, Paris by a corrupt Communist Commissar, starring Bela Lugosi, most famous for being the vampire in "Dracula," sucking the life-blood out of nave humans. (Was he a role model for Planned Parenthood's founder, Margaret Sanger?) There are so many intriguing layers to "Ninotchka," this tongue-in-cheek satire of State Socialism and its many hypocrisies. All the more ironically conceived during the World War 2 build-up of American allies and alliances against the imperialistic invaders throughout Europe, the National Socialists, known most infamously as Nazis. The screenplay by Billy Wilder and Charles Brackett became the basis for the Broadway musical and 1957 film, "Silk Stockings." The 1939 film, "Ninotchka," is the greatest satire of Socialism, rivaling Billy Wilder's other 4-stars, classic film in 1961, staring Jimmy Cagney, as the Coke-head, during the Berlin Blockade by Communists in "One, Two, Three." Isn't it time, TCM, to stimulate smiles, showing this classic sometime soon?
- don letta
Had this been the film that opened on December 7, 1941, and not The Two Faced Woman. Garbo's career might have endured throughout the war, and well into the fifties... too bad... this is one of the great comedies of film.
In a word snore zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz! What is it about this women Greta Garbo that made her so popular? Talent ? Ive Suffered through three of her films to try and find out what it was, to be fare and sorry I just don't get it. Bette Davis, Ginger Rogers, Joan Crawford Katherine Hepburn and Ive recently discovered Norma Shearer brilliant and talented ladies. The only conclusion I can come to, is somebody back in the thirties, did a brilliant job convincing an entertainment starved depression public that this women had any talent?
- Dashiell B.
The last great film of Garbo, and her only film for Lubitsch. Garbo earned her final Oscar nomination in a rare comedic performance, Douglas is great as her love interest & excellent supporting performances. The combination of Lubitsch's direction & a screenplay by Brackett & Wilder are godsend to comedy, poking fun at the now-dated communist ideals. A film worth watching to see "Garbo laugh," as the tagline was. I give it a 4.5/5.
- Mark Sutch
Um filme maravilhoso
Este filme um dos melhores que Greta Garbo fez. Ela esta divina, intrigante e audaciosa neste filme. um dos meus prediletos e poderia mais vezes ser apresentado no TCM. Este filme um clssico.
- Mr. D
Only the greatest movie ever made by the greatest actress of all time! The 3 Russian envoys are a hoot, and the allusions to early 20th century labor relations are hilarious and pointed. There is a LOL sequence where Garbo's would-be boyfriend says "Don't you find me attractive, Ninotchka?" And she looks deep into his face and with her best Soviet attitude & accent, Garbo says analytically "Your eyes are not unpleasant. You have very clear retinas."This movie is in my top 10 of all time. A pleasure over & over & over.
This is a great movie
the best movie I have ever seen. What a great love story.
- Jay Higgins
Greta Garbo took a chance on a romantic comedy and it worked. This is a delightful film, magnificently directed by Ernst Lubitsch. Well acted by all, particularly the supporting cast. Filled with many memorable scenes, a great screenplay. Excellent art direction and costumes.
Garbo at her best
- Doug Kaiser
One of a dozen films I never grow weary of watching, Ninotchka serves as a reminder to me that Garbo should have done many more comedies in her career. To see Ninotchka's love for Leon slowly emerge from beneath that icy Russian exterior is always a treat for this incurable romantic. There are so many memorable scenes (the depot, the first visit to Leon's apartment, the restaurant, the Eiffel Tower) that it makes one long for the time in Hollywood when great scripts, directing, star power and character actors all were in abundance.
Ninotchka is a HIGHLY AMUSING picture. Greta gives a great performance. Supporting cast is very good as well. Highly recommended.
- b&w movie buff
this is a very witty and charming and funny movie. and greta garbo fantastic. it is a must watch on any movie buffs list