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Ninotchka (2005)

Melvyn Douglas , Greta Garbo , Ernst Lubitsch  |  NR |  DVD
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (89 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Melvyn Douglas, Greta Garbo, Ina Claire
  • Directors: Ernst Lubitsch
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Black & White, Closed-captioned, NTSC, Subtitled
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono), French (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish, French
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Warner Home Video
  • DVD Release Date: September 6, 2005
  • Run Time: 110 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (89 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0009S4IJW
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #28,175 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Ninotchka" on IMDb

Special Features

  • Theatrical trailer

Editorial Reviews

Greta Garbo, Melvyn Douglas, Bela Lugosi, Ina Claire, Sig Rumann. Garbo earned a Best Actress Oscar nomination for her portrayal of a disturbed Soviet official whose dark heart warms after she meets a Frenchman in Paris. Directed by Ernst Lubitsch. 1939/b&w/110 min/NR/fullscreen.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
64 of 69 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fewer But Better Russians August 25, 2001
Format:VHS Tape
An expertly-played and presented comedy that continues to be dogged by detractors for the oddest reasons. Some feel NINOTCHKA suffers compared to Lubitsch's earlier work, finding it formulaic alongside 1933's TROUBLE IN PARADISE. (I hadn't known Lubitsch had been given 'do-what-thou-wilt' privileges from the Hays Office - I'd labored under the delusion he faced the same restrictions in content and tone every other moviemaker did in 1939.) Other nay-sayers decry the film's jabs at Soviet collectivism as 'dated' if not 'unenlightened'. (Huh? You mean show trials and forced starvation of kulaks were GOOD things that a truly witty screenplay would celebrate?) Still other kibitzers squawk over the casting, of all things! (While it IS fun to picture William Powell or Robert Montgomery in the role of Leon, the boulevardier, Melvyn Douglas was never better than he is here. If he has his spotty moments, it's in those scenes where he must swoon with ardor, reciting dialogue that rings a tad purple to the ear; it's quite possible Powell or Montgomery would have fared even worse reading those lines.) Okay, enough defensive posturing - now let's go to NINOTCHKA's numerous strengths. Garbo is magnificent; she has a real knack for comedy (her deadpan entrance is hilarious) yet, as always, is able to break your heart with a look, a word, a gesture. Her three 'stooges' (Sig Rumann, Alexander Granach & Felix Bressart) are broadly funny and genuinely endearing. Ina Claire is everything her legend always claimed she was - though her character is icily calculating, you can't hate any woman who can make dialogue bristle like this. Lubitsch is in complete command throughout; his staging and pacing of the proceedings masterful in its seeming effortlessness. Read more ›
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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Must you flirt? December 2, 2001
By Matthew
Format:VHS Tape
I saw this movie one rainy night at the Clatsop Community College campus in Astoria, Oregon. I've been in love with this movie ever since. Every successful romantic comedy made since this film was released in 1939 owes part of their success to it. Greta Garbo takes a break from her serious filmmaking career and plays a strong, yet reasonable Russian woman. Melvyn Douglas is perfect in his role as well. The consumate playboy, he sees Garbo on the streets of Paris and must have her. It's not that easy though. Ninotchka isn't in Paris for romance.
Combining these two characters with the surrounding cast, it's easily one of the best comedies ever made. The writing is intelligent, and everything about this film has stood the test of time.
I have this film on laserdisc, and am wondering what's the hold up on the DVD. I'm guessing it must be Garbo's estate. Hopefully there'll be some exciting extras on the title when it's finally released. (Like the great extras on the "Rebecca" laserdisc box set & dvd set from Criterion.)
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Garbo's great comedic role May 4, 2004
Format:VHS Tape
Yet another yummy Ernst Lubitsch comedy, this time starring the often-dour Greta Garbo as a humorless Soviet agent who is seduced by Western materialism (and a dashing, jovial Melvyn Douglas) while on a mission in Paris. Some may find the film's political aspects to be dated -- but hey, that's totally the point! Lubitsch manages to lampoon both Stalin-era communism and the American stereotypes of the French (as libertine sensualists) all at one time... And while the Soviet state is roundly mocked, the plight of its people is not, so that Garbo's character is given her dignity and honor... as well as some swell close-ups and nice clothes! The best part of this film is her transformation from a robotic, literal-minded Party functionary into a fully-rounded human being... The scene in which Douglas tries to crack Ninotchka's icy facade, telling jokes and acting up in order to provoke a laugh or a smile, while she rebuffs his every overture in a clipped, chilly monotone, is one of Garbo's best performances, and a brilliant comedic stroke for Lubitsch. In effect, the manic, wisecracking Douglas is turned into a straight man for Garbo, whose minimalistic delivery controls the scene, in an almost Steven Wright-like manner. And, of course, the rest of the film is a delight as well. A fascinating, frivolous look at prewar European politics, and a real humdinger of a screwball comedy, with a clever, snappy script co-written by Billy Wilder. What's not to enjoy, comrade?
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Garbo Was Amazing! March 13, 2001
Format:VHS Tape
Ernst Lubitsch has made many wonderful films such as "To Be Or Not To Be", and "The Shop Around The Corner", and while I perfer those two over this one, this film definitely is not without it's own charm. I seriously don't think Lubitsch was capable of making a bad movie, even if he wanted too! He was a far too talented filmmaker! And this movie showcases his talents very well. Three russian agents ( Felix Bressart, Alexander Granach, and Sig Ruman) are sent to Paris in order to sell priceless jewels once owned by the grand dutchess (Ina Claire). When word gets to her about the agents, she immediately waits to get back her jewels. This all makes for a setup to introduce Ninotchka (The Great Greta Garbo. While I'm definitely too young to remember her when she was at her peak. I've always been aware of the famous name GARBO!) Once she arrives in Paris she is amazed at the way people live, she can't stop looking at the "wild" fashions she finds women wearing. She soon meets a man, Melvyn Douglas (Count Leon d' Algout) and they fall in love. Now, I don't want to give too much away, but, all I can say is, this is a wonderful "classic" comedy to watch that I'm willing to bet will please many movie lovers with it's warm charm ,wit, and Garbo! The movie was nominated for 4 Oscar and one for Garbo's performance which was rightly deserved, too bad she didn't win.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars I love it
If you love Greta Garbo this is a great one
Published 10 days ago by TmFD
4.0 out of 5 stars The blending is over. 'Ninochka' has arrived....!
Hollywood's classic icon in one of her last feature films, starlet Greta Garbo, in this black-n-white portrayal of a woman named 'Ninochka' a term of loving, endearment from the... Read more
Published 27 days ago by Nina
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Perfect
Published 1 month ago by Jeannie L. Artimisi
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the very best films ever made...
She is as good as she was when this film was made - forget how long ago that was - this is miles better than most of the junk Hollywood is pushing now - great acting, comedy, and... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Bill Baker
5.0 out of 5 stars A charming and funny movie.
I love this movie. Younger crowds might not get it since it references the harsher days of a Soviet Union which really doesn't even exist anymore. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Christina Bunch
5.0 out of 5 stars Matein-Movies
What a great movie, a classic Greta Garbo in a comedy role, wow! I love the love connection both actors portrait. Seen the movie about 40 times and never get bore.
Published 2 months ago by Matein Movies
5.0 out of 5 stars Garbo laughs
Always loved Ninotchka and was thrilled to be able to replace an old VHS I had. The disc arrived in a timely fashion ad my family and I have already watched and laughed along this... Read more
Published 4 months ago by Dennis Cunningham
2.0 out of 5 stars Not HD
Just to be clear, the movie itself is great. But the "HD" digital version looks exactly like the standard DVD version. Don't waste your money on it.
Published 5 months ago by Scott J
5.0 out of 5 stars A wry look at the Russian revolution of 1917
Garbo and Douglas are GREAT and so are the three comrades!! They often steal the show. Another great film from the greatest film year, 1939. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Sue Weingarten
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Movie
Its a great movie and I will recommend it to everyone. Add it to your list and tell a friend!
Published 5 months ago by John Sanders
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