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Ninotchka (1939)

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

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(screen play), (screen play) | 2 more credits »
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Nominated for 4 Oscars. Another 3 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
... Nina Ivanovna Yakushova aka Ninotchka
... Count Leon d'Algout
... Grand Duchess Swana
... Commissar Razinin
... Comrade Iranoff (as Sig Rumann)
... Comrade Buljanoff
... Comrade Kopalski
... Count Alexis Rakonin
Rolfe Sedan ... Hotel Manager
... Mercier
... 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:

M.G.M.'s laugh hit is here! See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Romance

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

23 November 1939 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Ninotschka  »

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Box Office

Budget:

$1,365,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$1,187,000

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$1,092,000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Curiously enough, this was the very movie Arnold Schwarzenegger studied when he was trying to find his character for Red Heat (1988). The exercise - emulate Greta Garbo - was recommended to him by his director Walter Hill. See more »

Goofs

When Ninotchka and Leon are talking about the photograph on his desk, Leon's shadow is moving along the wall although he doesn't move. See more »

Quotes

Leon: Do you like me just a little bit?
Ninotchka: Your general appearance is not distasteful.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Mannequin (1987) See more »

Soundtracks

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

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User Reviews

 
Garbo Laughs, and Makes Me Laugh with Her
31 March 2008 | by See all my reviews

The only word to describe this Ernst Lubitsch comedy is: sparkling.

Tremendously sweet and funny in that gentle way that was unique to Ernst Lubitsch comedies, "Ninotchka" features a winning Greta Garbo as a Soviet envoy dispatched to Paris to check up on the work of her comrades. They have been sent to sell the confiscated jewels of a Russian countess, played haughtily by Ina Claire. She refuses to let them go without a fight, and enlists the help of her attorney and playboy (Melvyn Douglas) to win them back. Unfortunately for her, he falls under the charms of Ninotchka, as do we.

I have never been a fan of Garbo or the moody brooding she was always asked to do in her films. Lubitsch completely understood the image she had in the public's collective mind, and so for the first half of this movie, Garbo presents a parody of herself, refusing to crack a smile despite Douglas's herculean efforts to make her. But then Ninotchka gradually begins to fall under the spell of Paris, its good food and fashionable hats, a pratfall involving Douglas is finally enough to make her laugh, and from that moment on, she's a delight. For an example of just how good a comedienne Garbo could be, watch Ninotchka's face as Douglas's character tells her corny joke after corny joke in an attempt to win a smile from her; or the scene set in a nightclub when Ninotchka discovers the capitalist wonders of champagne.

Grade: A+


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