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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 <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Garbo essayed the first of her two comedy roles here and proved herself as adept at comic timing as she was in drama. Her performance earned her fourth and final Oscar nom (the film received additional noms for Best Picture, Story and Screenplay). Here she plays a dour and serious Russian Soviet sent to Paris to bring back three comrades who seem to be succumbing to the Western World's delights. She is pursued by leading man, Melvyn Douglas, who appeared opposite her in three talkies, making him her only repeated co-star in talkies (John Gilbert was to achieve the same distinction in silents and with his one talkie excursion with the Divine One, brought their co-starring occasions up to four). His attempts at love making eventually wear her down, but the efforts are hilarious. Her monotone voice and completly expression-less affect in the first half are marvelous as she reduces every piece of sensuality to uselessness in its impracticality. Finally a pratfall reduces Garbo to helpless laughter and the ice is broken. The Lubitsch touch is marvelous here - surprising he did not receive an Oscar nom for that. This is one of Garbo's best performances and one of her best films - one to see at all costs. Recently selected by AFI as one of their top 100 comedies of all time.
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