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 <email@example.com>
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 »
While Thompson is drinking his hangover cure with his new secretary, in one cut a bottle suddenly appears in his hand that was not there the shot before. See more »
American reporter falls for Communist in 1940 Russia
The film fascinates because it was made in 1940, just when WWII was getting started. Nazi Germany and Soviet Russia had just divided Poland between them and neither Nazis nor Communists much admired by most Americans. Our hero, played by Clark Gable, is forced by the Soviets to share his hotel room with a Nazi journalist. The Nazi is a caricature, as are the Soviets, who are shown ordering assassinations a¿of anyone they dislike. At one point the Gable character creates a diversion by shouting out that Germany has just invaded Russia. He is, of course, shouting a year too soon, but the reaction is interesting. The plot itself is foolish, but the glimpse into the past, with references to the Brooklyn Dodgers murdering the Reds (of Cincinatti) makes the movie great fun.
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