Director: Ernst Lubitsch
Cast: Greta Garbo, Melvyn Douglas, Ina Claire, Bela Lugosi, Sig Ruman, Felix Bressart
Genre: comedy, romance
Runtime: 110 min.
A stern Russian woman sent to Paris on official business finds herself attracted to a man who represents everything she is supposed to detest.
Garbo Talks! proclaimed ads when silent star Greta Garbo debuted in talkies. Nine years and 12 classic screen dramas later, the gifted movie legend was ready for another change.
Garbo Laughs! cheered the publicity for her first comedy, a frothy tale of a dour Russian envoy sublimating her womanhood for Soviet brotherhood until she falls for a suave Parisian man-about-town (Melvyn Douglas).
Working from a cleverly barbed script written in part by Billy Wilder, director Ernst Lubitsch knew better than anyone how to marry refinement with sublime wit. "At least twice a day the most dignified human being is ridiculous," he explained about his acclaimed Lubitsch Touch.
That's how we see Garbo's lovestruck Ninotchka: serenely dignified yet endearing ridiculous.
Awards & Festivals:
Academy Award nomination – Best Picture, Best Actress, Best Writing (Original), Best Screenplay
National Board of Review Award – Top Ten Films, Best Acting
National Film Preservation Board Award – National Film Registry