A musical remake of Ninotchka: After three bumbling Soviet agents fail in their mission to retrieve a straying Soviet composer from Paris, the beautiful, ultra-serious Ninotchka is sent to ...
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In squeaky-clean New York at the turn of the century, playboy Charlie Hill falls so much in love that he can walk on air. The object of his affections is beautiful Angela Bonfils, a mission... See full summary »
On a trip to France, millionaire Jervis Pendleton sees an 18 year old girl in an orphanage. Enchanted with her, but mindful of the difference in their ages, he sponsors her to college in ... See full summary »
A musical remake of Ninotchka: After three bumbling Soviet agents fail in their mission to retrieve a straying Soviet composer from Paris, the beautiful, ultra-serious Ninotchka is sent to complete their mission and to retrieve them. She starts out condemning the decadent West, but gradually falls under its spell, with the help of Steve Canfield, an American movie producer.Written by
John Oswalt <email@example.com>
Cyd Charisse's striptease to the title number was met with a least a couple of raised eyebrows from the Hays film censors. For one 2-second instance, she is seen at length in a silk camisole exposing her legendary legs. This was considered too risqué by the Hays office, and a high-back chair was quickly integrated into the dance for her to run behind. When she next emerges from behind the chair she has quickly slipped on a swirling petticoat, but it is transparent and gives quick glimpses of her legs anyway, which by now were what most viewers wanted to see anyway. See more »
When she's typing on the typewriter in the hotel room, Nina presses only the same two keys. See more »
Like so many films produced in the mid- to late Fifties and early Sixties, when CinemaScope and other widescreen processes enhanced a production, directors and cinematographers were usually unafraid to take full advantage of the wider ratio. They weren't so concerned about how the final product would look on TV's square screens and probably didn't anticipate the visual desecration of "formatting" and "pan-and-scan" reductions. So it's nice to know that this musical, filmed when M-G-M was about to throw in the musical towel and bid an undeserved farewell to the Arthur Freed "unit," can now be enjoyed again close to its original theatrical aspect ratio on DVD.
Astaire and Charisse are a team to be treasured (so wonderful together in "The Band Wagon" a few years earlier, under Minnelli's astute guidance) and all of the others listed in this film's credits are professionals of the highest caliber. Astaire has a fun solo (with a chorus of top-hatted dancers) in the "Ritz Roll 'n' Rock" number; Cyd gets to put those legendary legs to dazzlingly opulent use in the "Red Blues" production show-stopper; and even Janis Paige gets to raunch it up in an amusing example of clever Cole Porter risking something risqué (for its day) in a song about the Empress Josephine, "commonly known as Jo"! And there's that first reel number, "Stere-oh-phonic Sound," that cleverly spoofs the contemporary moviemakers' attempts to lure people from their TV sets with widescreens, sound coming from every corner of the auditorium and eye-glazing color processes. It may not be prime Porter but it's all far-and-away more fun and enjoyable than anything we're likely to get today with the threatened revival of the movie musical with barbarians like Baz Luhrmann given the directorial reins.
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