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Comrade X (1940)

Passed | | Comedy, Romance | 13 December 1940 (USA)
An American reporter smuggling news out of Soviet Moscow is blackmailed into helping a beautiful Communist leave the country.

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Writers:

(screen play), (screen play) | 1 more credit »
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Nominated for 1 Oscar. See more awards »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
Theodore
...
Vasiliev (as Oscar Homolka)
...
Vanya
...
Jane Wilson
...
Emil Von Hofer (as Sig Rumann)
Natasha Lytess ...
Olga
Vladimir Sokoloff ...
Michael Bastakoff
Edgar Barrier ...
Rubick
Georges Renavent ...
Laszlo (as George Renevant)
Mikhail Rasumny ...
Russian Officer
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Storyline

McKinley B. "Mac" Thompson, American reporter in Moscow, smuggles out uncensored news under the alias "Comrade X," but hotel valet Vanya discovers his secret. Vanya fears for the safety of his daughter Golubka ("Theodore") and blackmails Mac into helping her leave the country. Mac is happier about his task once he meets lovely Theodore, but can he convince her of his sincerity? The anti-communist humor becomes alternately grim and farcical. Written by Rod Crawford <puffinus@u.washington.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The Funniest LOVE Comedy Since "Ninotchka"

Genres:

Comedy | Romance

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

13 December 1940 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Madame X  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(TCM print)

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

At the time this film was released, in 1940, World War II had already begun in Europe, but the Soviet Union still had a non-aggression pact with Nazi Germany. In the film, Mac is able to fool a character by pretending to hear news that Germany has broken the pact and launched an invasion of the USSR. Of course, that's exactly what happened the very next year when Germany launched Operation Barbarossa in summer 1941. See more »

Goofs

The script makes reference to the Soviet law that a person could divorce his or her spouse simply by sending them a postcard announcing that the marriage was over - but in 1936, four years before this film was made, Stalin had repealed that law when he rewrote the Russian constitution and made divorces considerably harder to get. See more »

Quotes

Mac Thompson: You can't have a revolution in a country where the people love hot dogs and boogie-woogie.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Things of Love (1989) See more »

Soundtracks

Funiculi, Funicula
(1880) (uncredited)
Lyrics by Peppino Turco
Music by Luigi Denza
Sung a cappella with modified lyrics by Clark Gable
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Lamarr, a superb comedian
30 March 2008 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Who would have guessed that the usually wooden but dazzlingly beautiful Hedy Lamarr could be so delightfully funny, adorable and charming as she is in this Ninotchka role. It's a pity that she was rarely --if ever again-- given another opportunity to play this sort of anything-goes screwball comedy. Hedy here is as real and believable as Carole Lombard at her best. The script written by Ben Hecht ("Nothing Sacred"), Charlie Lederer ("The Front Page" screenplay) and the uncredited Herman Mankiewicz ("Citizen Kane") is a bizarre hard-boiled political satire ending with a lengthy and totally absurd slapstick Russian tank chase through the woods and across the river into Rumania. It looks as if it came straight out of a Max Sennett movie. Gable is his usual tough and handsome self, wonderfully adept with the throw-away gags he is given. The rest of the cast is rounded out with some of the best European character actors then living in Hollywood --the Germans Sig Ruman, Felix Bressart and the Viennese Oskar Homoloka—- all playing Russians and Germans. As an added bonus there is the first on-screen appearance by the rarely seen Berlin-born actress, Natasha Lytess ("Olga"), best remembered now as Marilyn Monroe's first acting coach way before her Lee Strasberg days.


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