7.9/10
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111 user 65 critic

Ninotchka (1939)

Not Rated | | Comedy, Romance | 23 November 1939 (USA)
Trailer
2:17 | Trailer
A stern Russian woman sent to Paris on official business finds herself attracted to a man who represents everything she is supposed to detest.

Director:

Ernst Lubitsch

Writers:

Charles Brackett (screen play), Billy Wilder (screen play) | 2 more credits »
Reviews
Nominated for 4 Oscars. Another 5 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Greta Garbo ... Ninotchka
Melvyn Douglas ... Leon
Ina Claire ... Swana
Bela Lugosi ... Razinin
Sig Ruman ... Iranoff (as Sig Rumann)
Felix Bressart ... Buljanoff
Alexander Granach ... Kopalski
Gregory Gaye ... Rakonin
Rolfe Sedan ... Hotel Manager
Edwin Maxwell ... Mercier
Richard Carle ... Gaston
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Storyline

Only the royal suite at the grandest hotel in Paris has a safe large enough for the jewels of the Grand Duchess Swana. So the three Russians who have come to sell the jewels settle into the suite until a higher ranking official is dispatched to find out what is delaying the sale. She is Ninotchka, a no nonsense woman who fascinates Count Leon who had been the faithful retainer of the Grand Duchess. The Grand Duchess will give up all claim to the jewels if Ninotchka will fly away from the count. Written by Dale O'Connor <daleoc@interaccess.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Garbo Laughs See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Romance

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

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. See more »

Goofs

Re: Comrade Kopalski, "ski" is typically an ending for Polish names. In Russian, the name would more appropriately have been spelled "Kopalsky". See more »

Quotes

Leon: You like Scotch stories?
Ninotchka: Never heard one.
Leon: Well, two Scotchmen met on the street - and I don't know the name of the street, it doesn't matter anyway - one's name was McGillicuddy. The other one's name was McIntosh. McGillicuddy said to McIntosh, "Hello, Mr McGillicuddy." McGillicuddy, McIntosh said to McGillicuddy, "Hello, Mr. McIn - Mr. McGillicuddy." Then, McGillicuddy says to McIntosh, "How's Mrs. McIntosh?" And McIntosh says to McGillicuddy, "How's Mrs. McGillicuddy?"
Ninotchka: I wish they'd never met.
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Alternate Versions

Also available in a computer colorized version. See more »

Connections

Featured in TCM Guest Programmer: Illeana Douglas (2006) See more »

Soundtracks

Ça c'est Paris
(uncredited)
Music by José Padilla
Lyrics by Lucien Boyer and Jacques Charles
See more »

User Reviews

 
Why Didn't Garbo Make More Comedies?
28 September 2004 | by arelxSee all my reviews

I see that Billy Wilder collaborated on this. Was it a studio decision that Garbo wasn't cast as a comedienne? From the evidence in this film, she should have been. Her timing is excellent, her delivery very special. This is a gem I'd never seen that deserves its National Registry status. In 1939 the Soviet Union had sympathizers in the US, and during the coming World War it was an ally. This gentle spoof of Soviet seriousness and self-conscious worker ethics foreshadows the arguments that were later trotted out after the War to begin the Cold War, but here the humor and satire are soft, more Noel Coward than propaganda.

My lament is not seeing more comedy from Garbo. She made such serious and tragic films, when she could have been making us laugh. The film is dated, yes, but Garbo herself shines through along with her three Russian accomplices. I think that Billy Wilder and Garbo would have been a great team


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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Russian

Release Date:

23 November 1939 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Ninotchka See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$1,365,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

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