Screening on Film
Directed by Ernst Lubitsch.
With Greta Garbo, Melvyn Douglas, Bela Lugosi.
US, 1939, 35mm, black & white, 110 min.
Print source: HFA

Launched by mgm with the ad campaign "Garbo Laughs!," Ninotchka was not, strictly speaking, the first time actress Greta Garbo had laughed on screen; but it was the first time this queen of the quality melodrama starred in a predominantly comic film. A rigid and dour Russian agent, Comrade Ninotchka comes to France on government business and finds herself risking honor and career when she falls for Paris and for a suave capitalist playboy (Douglas). The film demonstrates the artistry of director Lubitsch’s palette: the smoothest blending of romance, farce, and satire into a fairy-tale screwball comedy. With scintillating dialogue co-written by Billy Wilder, Ninotchka was the basis for the Broadway musical and film Silk Stockings.

Part of film series

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Treasures from the Harvard Film Archive: N–R

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That Certain Feeling... The Touch of Ernst Lubitsch