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Ninotchka (1939)

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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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(screen play), (screen play) | 2 more credits »
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Nominated for 4 Oscars. Another 2 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
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Comrade Iranoff (as Sig Rumann)
Felix Bressart ...
Alexander Granach ...
Gregory Gaye ...
Rolfe Sedan ...
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Mercier
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Gaston
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Storyline

Only the royal suite at the grandest hotel in Paris has a safe large enough for the jewels of the Grand Duchess Swana. So the three Russians who have come to sell the jewels settle into the suite until a higher ranking official is dispatched to find out what is delaying the sale. She is Ninotchka, a no nonsense woman who fascinates Count Leon who had been the faithful retainer of the Grand Duchess. The Grand Duchess will give up all claim to the jewels if Ninotchka will fly away from the count. Written by Dale O'Connor <daleoc@interaccess.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

russian | 1930s | love | playboy | envoy | See All (62) »

Taglines:

Garbo Laughs See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Romance

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

1 February 1940 (Australia)  »

Also Known As:

Ninotschka  »

Box Office

Budget:

$1,365,000 (estimated)

Gross:

$1,187,000 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Bela Lugosi received fourth billing even though he appears only near the end of the movie and only in one scene with Greta Garbo. See more »

Goofs

Ninotchka (actually Ninochka) is pronounced NEEN-och-ka in Russia, not Nee-NOTCH-ka. The name is an endearing form of Nina. See more »

Quotes

Count Leon D'Algout: Do you like me just a little bit?
Ninotchka: Your general appearance is not distasteful.
See more »

Connections

Featured in From the Ends of the Earth (1939) See more »

Soundtracks

Ça c'est Paris
(uncredited)
Music by José Padilla
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Garbo Laughs, and Makes Me Laugh with Her
31 March 2008 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

The only word to describe this Ernst Lubitsch comedy is: sparkling.

Tremendously sweet and funny in that gentle way that was unique to Ernst Lubitsch comedies, "Ninotchka" features a winning Greta Garbo as a Soviet envoy dispatched to Paris to check up on the work of her comrades. They have been sent to sell the confiscated jewels of a Russian countess, played haughtily by Ina Claire. She refuses to let them go without a fight, and enlists the help of her attorney and playboy (Melvyn Douglas) to win them back. Unfortunately for her, he falls under the charms of Ninotchka, as do we.

I have never been a fan of Garbo or the moody brooding she was always asked to do in her films. Lubitsch completely understood the image she had in the public's collective mind, and so for the first half of this movie, Garbo presents a parody of herself, refusing to crack a smile despite Douglas's herculean efforts to make her. But then Ninotchka gradually begins to fall under the spell of Paris, its good food and fashionable hats, a pratfall involving Douglas is finally enough to make her laugh, and from that moment on, she's a delight. For an example of just how good a comedienne Garbo could be, watch Ninotchka's face as Douglas's character tells her corny joke after corny joke in an attempt to win a smile from her; or the scene set in a nightclub when Ninotchka discovers the capitalist wonders of champagne.

Grade: A+


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