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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 <firstname.lastname@example.org>
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 »
The railroad cars in the railroad yard are distinctly American design. See more »
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.
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