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Ninotchka was is not great?


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Garbo's first comedy, she was nominated for the 4th time which is remarkable, for her in a comedy, and she was marvelous, it was also nominated for Best Picture, and Best Director and for something else, probably the script by Billy Wilder, it was on last night who was luck enough to see it?

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when i decided to watch ninotchka i didn't think i would like it as much as i did. especially like the scene where melvyn douglas makes her laugh and i couldn't believe the crazy line she said to him about liking his corneas and then he said the same to her! i mean talk about quirky dialogue!

they had better chemistry than i was expecting as well.

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NINOTCHKA is one of my all time favorite films because it is such a clever, witty study in contrasts..the stern, humorless "Soviet lady" sent to wordly Paris to reclaim property, and the dashing, worldly "Count Leon" (Melvyn D) who is out to thwart her plans. Little does he know what's in store! Ninotchka's grim determination to accomplish her mission...and Leon's dogged determination to charm her away from her goal, is a delight to watch. And added in the mix are the 3 Russian comrades - well meaning but soon overcome by the delights of "ringing three times" for the cigarette girls..not to mention former Grand Duchess Swana (played with regal hauteur by Ina Claire) who's determined that she'll keep her precious jewels and Leon too..and send the Soviet envoy packing back to Russia. Ernst Lubitsch certainly concocted a merry confection and it is reported that even Miss Garbo enjoyed working on the film.

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I saw this film for the first time about 28 years ago at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. They were having a six month festival of comedies on film screening every pertinent film comedy from the silent days right up through (then) present day films. I had seen a few of Garbo's films at that point (i was a teenager) but couldn't see her doing a comedic role. Boy, was I surprised! The film is sheer delight, co-written by genius Billy Wilder and directed by Ernst Lubitsch. I went home telling everyone the joke that Melvyn Douglas told her in an effort to get her to laugh.... here it is: A man goes into a restaurant and orders a cup of coffee. He tells the waiter 'I'd like a cup of coffee please without milk.' a few minutes later the waiter returns and says, 'I'm sorry sir we are out of milk, can it be without cream'. This is just a small part of this wonderful film..... one of those movies that as it is ending, I kind of wish it would just continue on and on.......

 

ninotchka.jpg

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