D: Ernst Lubitsch

MGM (Ernst Lubitsch & Sidney Franklin)

US 1939

110 mins


W: Melchior Lengyel, Charles Brackett, Billy Wilder & Walter Reisch

DP: William H. Daniels

Ed: Gene Ruggerio

Mus: Werner Heymann

Greta Garbo (Nina Ivanovna 'Ninotchka' Yakushova), Melvyn Douglas (Count Leon d'Algout), Ina Claire (Grand Duchess Swana), Sig Rumann (Iranoff), Felix Bressart (Buljanoff)

"Garbo laughs!" states the tagline in this charming comedy of manners from the late 1930's.

Greta Garbo plays the title character, a communist emissary in Paris who becomes the object of a Playboy's affections. Initially, he represents everything she despises, but when she eventually warms to him, the romance is in the air.

Given that the film was released in 1939, it has dated quite well, but it's mostly due to the excellent performances of the cast, especially the resplendent Greta Garbo, with an iconic lead performance that shines on the screen. Billy Wilder co-wrote the screenplay and its highly indicative of the works that he would become famous for in his own right later on in his career.


Greta Garbo & Melvyn Douglas in Ninotchka
Greta Garbo & Melvyn Douglas in Ninotchka