Sunday, June 17, 2012


Ninotchka 1939

Ninotchka. Lubitsch. Garbo. Splendid.

Billy Wilder had a sign in his office that read, "How would Lubitsch do it?" Ernst Lubitsch had a special touch, infact it's even called "the Lubitsch touch". His films were biting and sarcastic but also emotive and charming. He never goes too far. Lubitsch's characters are smart and he assumes the same for the audience, he didn't overstate. Sentiment but not saccharin. 

Greta Garbo stars as Ninotchka, she plays a Communist who travels to Paris. Ninotchka is sent to retrieve three wayword comrades who had been seduced by the City of Lights. They were all sent initially to retrieve Russian jewels. Ninotchka inevitably become distracted. She buys a hat, laughs at pratfalls and meets a man. Deligthful, splendid, Golden Age of Hollywood indeed. Billy Wilder worked on the script and Greta Garbo evidently laughs for the first time in her life. 

and the quips are are pretty memorable (if a little dark at times)-

 "The last mass trials were a great success. There are going to be fewer but better Russians."

Ninotchka- "Why do you want to carry my bags?" Porter- "That is my business."
Ninotchka-"That's no business. That's social injustice."

"Ninotchka, it's midnight. One half of Paris is making love to the other half."

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