Studio publicity information indicates that for the first time in her career as an actress, Garbo attended the preview screenings of the film, one of which took place in Long Beach, where Garbo reportedly stood in line to buy tickets for fifteen minutes before anyone recognized her.
The review of "Ninotchka" in Time Magazine was written by Whittaker Chambers. Chambers had been an undercover spy for Russia until 1938. Of course, his relationship to Russia and Communism was not known when he wrote his review. Chambers went on to become famous when, in 1948, he accused Alger Hiss of being a spy.
The previous year's Joy of Living (1938) seems to have largely inspired the title character for Ninotchka (1939), with an uptight heroine who finally learns to have fun, most notably, also in a restaurant scene. Irene Dunne, prophetically, strangely resembles Greta Garbo in her poster, and the casting of Melvyn Douglas here seems to have been deliberate, as he is physically a Douglas Fairbanks Jr. type, complete with similar pencil-thin mustache.
This film received its USA television premiere in Los Angeles Friday 2 November 1956 on KTTV (Channel 11), followed by Seattle 6 December 1956 on KING (Channel 5), by Philadelphia 18 January 1957 on WFIL (Channel 6) , by both Chicago and Altoona PA 9 February 1957 on WBBM (Channel 2) and WFBG (Channel 10), and by New York City 5 March 1957 on WCBS (Channel 2); in Minneapolis it first aired 7 November 1959 on WTCN (Channel 11) and in San Francisco 21 May 1960 on KGO (Channel 7).