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Ninotchka Details

FULL SYNOPSIS

"Garbo Laughs!" declared the ads for Ninotchka. In the face of dwindling foreign revenues, MGM decided to put Greta Garbo, a bigger draw in Europe than the US, in a box-office-savvy comedy, engaging the services of master farceur Ernst Lubitsch to direct. The film opens in Paris during the aftermath of the Russian revolution. A trio of Russian delegates (Sig Rumann, Felix Bressart, and Alexander Granach) are sent to Paris to sell the Imperial Jewels for ready cash. Grand Duchess Swana (Ina Claire), who once owned the jewels, sends her boyfriend Count Leon (Melvyn Douglas) to retrieve the diamonds, and he turns the trio into full-fledged capitalists, wining and dining them all through Paris. Moscow then dispatches the humorless, doggedly loyal Comrade Ninotchka (Garbo) to retrieve both the prodigal Soviets and the gems. When Leon turns his charm on Ninotchka, she regards him coldly, informing him that love is merely a "chemical reaction." Even his kisses fail to weaken her resolve. Leon finally wins her over by taking an accidental fall in a restaurant, whereupon Ninotchka laughs for the first time in her life. She goes on a shopping spree and gets drunk, while Leon begins falling in love with her in earnest. As a bonus to the frothy script, by Billy Wilder and others, and its surefire star power, Ninotchka features what is perhaps Bela Lugosi's most likeable and relaxed performance. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

  • Release date:March 8, 1946

Awards

Awarded by
Nominee
Category
Year
Status
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Melchior Lengyel Best Original Story 1939 Nominee
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Billy Wilder Best Screenplay 1939 Nominee
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Charles Brackett Best Screenplay 1939 Nominee
National Board of Review Greta Garbo Best Acting 1939 Winner
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Greta Garbo Best Actress 1939 Nominee
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Walter Reisch Best Screenplay 1939 Nominee

Cast

Greta Garbo
as Ninotchka
Melvyn Douglas
as Count Leon Dalga
Bela Lugosi
as Commissar Razinin
Sig Rumann
as Michael Iranoff
Felix Bressart
as Buljanoff
Alexander Granach
as Kopalski
Gregory Gaye
as Count Alexis Rakonin
Rolfe Sedan
as Hotel Manager
Richard Carle
as Gaston
Monya Andre
as Gossip
Symona Boniface
George Davis
as Porter
Jo Gilbert
as Streetcar Conductress
William Irving
as Bartender
Charles Judels
as Pere Mathieu, Cafe Owner
Armand Kaliz
as Louis, the Headwaiter
Frank Reicher
as Lawyer
Harry Semels
as Neighbor-Spy
Edwin Stanley
as Lawyer
Paul Weigel
as Vladimir
Wolfgang Zilzer
as Taxi Driver
Edwin Maxwell
as Mercier
Dorothy Adams
as Jacqueline, Swana's Maid
Bess Flowers
as Gossip
Mary Forbes
as Lady Lavenham
Lawrence Grant
as Gen. Saritsky
Peggy Moran
as French Maid
George Tobias
as Russian Visa Official
Wolfgang Zilzer
as Taxi Driver
George Tobias
as Russian Visa Official
Lawrence Grant
as Gen. Saritsky
Monya Andre
as Gossip
Paul Weigel
as Vladimir
Harry Semels
as Neighbor-Spy
Armand Kaliz
as Louis, the Headwaiter
William Irving
as Bartender
Edwin Stanley
as Lawyer
Frank Reicher
as Lawyer
Peggy Moran
as French Maid
George Davis
as Porter
Edwin Maxwell
as Mercier
Jo Gilbert
as Streetcar Conductress
Mary Forbes
as Lady Lavenham
Charles Judels
as Pere Mathieu, Cafe Owner
Bess Flowers
as Gossip
Dorothy Adams
as Jacqueline, Swana's Maid

Crew

Ernst Lubitsch
Director
Ernst Lubitsch
Producer
Charles Brackett
Screenwriter
Billy Wilder
Screenwriter
Melchior Lengyel
Screenwriter
Walter Reisch
Screenwriter
William H. Daniels
Cinematographer
Werner Richard Heymann
Composer (Music Score)
Gene Ruggiero
Editor
Randall Duell
Art Director
Cedric Gibbons
Art Director
Edwin B. Willis
Set Designer
Adrian
Costume Designer
Jack Dawn
Makeup
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