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Comrade X (1940)

6.4
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Ratings: 6.4/10 from 790 users  
Reviews: 19 user | 5 critic

An American reporter smuggling news out of Soviet Moscow is blackmailed into helping a beautiful Communist leave the country.

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(screen play), (screen play), 2 more credits »
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Title: Comrade X (1940)

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Nominated for 1 Oscar. See more awards »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
McKinley B. Thompson
...
Theodore
Oskar Homolka ...
Vasiliev (as Oscar Homolka)
Felix Bressart ...
Vanya
...
Jane Wilson
Sig Ruman ...
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:

TV-G | See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

13 December 1940 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Camarada 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

Vanya: Well, there's some good news and some bad news. Last week all the towels were stolen. But on the other hand the water wasn't running so nobody needed the towels. Everything balances.
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

 
fun pairing of Gable and Lamarr
1 April 2008 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Clark Gable and Hedy Lamarr star in "Comrade X," a 1940 comedy from MGM also starring Eve Arden, Felix Bressart and Oscar Homolka. Gable and Arden are American journalists in Russia while the Russians search frantically for "Comrade X," a reporter sending out uncensored stories to the United States. One man knows the identity of Comrade X - a bumbling valet in the hotel where many of the reporters stay (Felix Bressart). He fears his outspoken daughter is in danger of being purged by the Russians like so many and blackmails Comrade X into getting her out of the country. Well, we've known from the beginning who Comrade X is - who else - and he reluctantly agrees to his assignment - reluctantly until he gets a look at the daughter (Lamarr), who is driving a streetcar using the name Theodore. Women can't drive streetcars.

Everyone is very good in this film, and Lamarr's staggering beauty and Gable's macho man are pluses. The supporting cast is great - Homolka is a government official who says his predecessor "met with an unfortunate accident" - as many of them do throughout the film.

I have to agree with one of the posters here - the scene with the tanks is absolutely priceless, particularly when you realize that films didn't have the mechanisms for "special effects" as they do today.

Lots of fun at the expense of good old Mother Russia.


4 of 4 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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