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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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>
With the casting of Fred Astaire and Cyd Charisse, an emphasis on dance was added to the film that did not exist on stage. This resulted in extended dance sequences following "Too Bad" and "All of You" and the omittance of "As On Through the Seasons We Sail" in favor of a new Cole Porter song, "Fated to Be Mated," which also blossomed into an extended dance sequence. The title song was reconfigured as a dance solo for Charisse, and Porter wrote "The Ritz Roll and Rock" for Astaire's eleven o'clock solo. See more »
When she's typing on the typewriter in the hotel room, Nina presses only the same two keys. See more »
Clever, witty and charming musical, courtesy M.G.M. and the Arthur Freed unit, of which this was one of their last films. One of several musical remakes (of non-musical pictures) that the studio produced in the mid-late 1950s. This is one of the best.
Fred Astaire plays his usual character, the playboy-ish bachelor, in this case a film producer, wanting to use a Russian composer's music for his new film. Cyd Charisse plays Ninotchka, the Russian woman who comes to Paris to bring back the composer and three comrades who failed to return him to his native land. As the three comrades, Jules Munshin, Peter Lorre (holding onto a chair as he dances), and Joseph Buloff are a hoot, adding good comic relief in their "Too Bad" and "Siberia" numbers. Janis Paige is a jewel as the ditzy actress hired for the new film. She radiates with Astaire in the memorable "Stereophonic Sound" number, as well as in her own hilarious "Satin and Silk".
Charisse, (whose wooden acting is OK here), is lovely as usual and has a few excellent dances, including the sensual "All of You" (with Astaire), the lively "Red Blues", and the stunning ballet where she removes her old Russian garb, for her new Parisian silks. This was the second of her two pairings with Astaire, and though this is not the gem that "The Band Wagon" is, it still sparkles nonetheless.
A clever and classy musical, with some very topical humor. Great songs by Cole Porter (with the exception of the tacky "Ritz, Roll and Rock"...a poor punch at rock and roll). Excellent use of color and the Cinemascope frame help to make this one of the last great musicals of the 1950s.
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