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Ninotchka (2005)

Melvyn Douglas , Greta Garbo , Ernst Lubitsch  |  NR |  DVD
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (83 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Melvyn Douglas, Greta Garbo, Ina Claire
  • Directors: Ernst Lubitsch
  • Format: 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: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (83 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0009S4IJW
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #25,095 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
62 of 67 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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24 of 26 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "Oh, my barbaric Ninotchka..." May 4, 2005
By Dave
Format:VHS Tape
Greta Garbo plays a stern-faced Soviet official ("Ninotchka") who arrives in Paris on business involving the sale of some extremely rare and valuable czarist jewels. But soon she discovers the magic of Paris and falls for a Frenchman named Leon D'Algout (played by Melvyn Douglas). But Ninotchka must now choose between love and duty to Russia, and she must also contend with another woman, the exiled Grand Duchess Swana (played by Ina Claire), who wants Leon for herself. Will Ninotchka and Leon's romance be able to survive against these obstacles? Watch and find out!

With a sharp, witty, and fast-paced script written by Billy Wilder, Charles Brakkett, and Walter Reisch, and a great supporting cast including Bela Lugosi (who plays a Soviet officer!!!), Sig Ruman, Felix Bressart, Alexander Granach, and Richard Carle, this very enjoyable Ernst Lubitsch comedy is still very entertaining after more than 65 years! While some of the dialogue is dated and corny and the film is a little too long, overall I highly recommend this classic, as well as "Comrade X", with Clark Gable and beautiful Hedy Lamarr, a film which I believe is very superior to "Ninotchka".
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19 of 20 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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9 of 9 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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Most Recent Customer Reviews
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 20 days 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 23 days 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 25 days ago by John Sanders
5.0 out of 5 stars Great movie!
Good quality with subtitles for a cheap price, I love these old movies , funny and charming, for the whole family!
Published 25 days ago by truman85
5.0 out of 5 stars Sooooooo Charming!
This moving is absolutely adorable!! I love Greta Garbo and Melvyn Douglas together (they were also wonderful in 2 Faced Wife). Just makes me smile from beginning to end!!
Published 1 month ago by roslyn
5.0 out of 5 stars Ninotchka
A very funny pre-World War II movie, Bela Lugosi has a small part and is marvelous as a Russian official. It is a very funny movie, old but very funny. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Bwhami
5.0 out of 5 stars Best Movie Ever
This is an awesome movie. Melvyn Douglas is heavenly to watch and "Ninotchka" is priceless. Greta Garbo is at her best.
Published 1 month ago by Millie Vuksanovic
5.0 out of 5 stars The sophistication of Lubitsch and the wit of Wilder
The trailer for this elegant and altogether delightful love story began by declaring, "Garbo laughs! Read more
Published 2 months ago by Phil Berardelli
5.0 out of 5 stars It just gets better and better ...
The performances are superb.

The Soviets are caricatures, of course, but I bet that they'd laugh at them, also. This would be an interesting sociology project!
Published 2 months ago by Mark S. Tuttle
4.0 out of 5 stars *** 1/2 -- Not Lubitsch's best, but still very fine
Ninotchka was made in 1939, the year many regard as Hollywood's best overall: The Wizard of Oz, Gunga Din, Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, Goodbye Mr. Read more
Published 3 months ago by The Man in the Hathaway Shirt
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