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 »
Near the end of the film, the leader of the Soviet tanks gives them an order to turn right (in Russian) but they are all shown turning left. See more »
In the days when actresses had genuine accents that put a lilt in their speech, Hedy Lamarr, like Greta Garbo and Ingrid Bergman, had refinement and intelligence, and could portray "foreigners" from any number of countries. Here, Hedy is supposed to be Russian, and with a light touch, too. She makes a charming foil to beefy Clark Gable, who plays his usual role as the macho-male with a wink in his eye covering a heart of gold. Their chemistry is not quite as magical as that in "It Happened One Night," with Claudette Colbert (who had the softer edge and mysterious sex appeal that truly complemented Gable's), or even his pairings with the brassy blonde with the Brooklyn accent, but there are a number of scenes in this farce that I have not seen equalled elsewhere: namely the escape scene in the Soviet tank. Before the age of graphic simulation, the prop men really had to come up with a phalanx of Soviet-style tanks -- unless they used miniatures, and to see them "chase" Gable, with Hedy at the wheel, is almost on a par with a Chaplin or Keaton routine. The miming of the Soviet tank army is also hilarious.
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