DVD Ninotchka [DVD] (DVD 35720),
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Ninotchka [DVD]

  • NR
  • DVD
  • 1 disc
  • Region 1 USA/CA (info)
  • NINOTCHKA, which premiered in Hollywood on October 6, 1939, was the first film produced for MGM by Ernst Lubitsch. NINOTCHKA was added to the Library of Congress National Film Registry in 1990. The picture was advertised as the film where "Garbo Laughs!", recalling the "Garbo Talks!" campaign of ANNA CHRISTIE. But, according to a 1980 Hollywood Reporter item, Garbo's laugh had to be dubbed in, as she "couldn't summon up more than a somber chuckle." Ernst Lubitsch was quoted as saying that Garbo was the "most inhibited person [he had] ever worked with." He claimed that she was highly embarrassed to act drunk in a restaurant filled with extras. A New York Times article claims that MGM changed the setting of the film from Moscow to Paris, in order to avoid showing any depiction of living conditions in Russia, whether they be "pleasant or deplorable." Cary Grant was MGM's first choice for male lead, and William Powell was a consideration as late as a week before production. But the cameras started rolling without a leading man. Melvyn Douglas was finally cast as Count Leon d'Algout. NINOTCHKA created an uproar in the Soviet Union. As late as the 1950s, Soviet authorities were threatening a Vienna theater to force it to stop running the film. A misunderstanding occurred when a letter was sent from the Soviets to Italian government officials in Rome demanding that NINOTCHKA be pulled from Italian theaters. The office was without a translator at the time and mistook the note for correspondence regarding the Soviet proposal for major political negotiations.
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  • Additional Info
    Manufacturer Part Number (MPN): 56682

  • Credits
    Greta Garbo, Greta Louisa Gustafson, Melvyn Douglas, Melvyn Edouard Hesselberg, Bela Lugosi, Bela Ferenc Dezso, Arisztid Olt, Ina Claire, Sig Ruman, Sig Rumann, Felix Bressart, Alexander Granach, Gregory Gaye, Gregory Gay, Dorothy Adams
  • Critic Reviews
    "...Garbo's penultimate movie..."
    USA Today

    "[T]he heretofore serious actress lightens up in Lubtisch's quick-witted comedy."
    Premiere

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