Garbo is a Red ripe for romance in Ninotchka | Movie Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

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Garbo is a Red ripe for romance in Ninotchka

Melvyn Douglas costars in the Ernst Lubitsch classic.

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A sparkling, witty political fairy tale from 1939, about a cold but beautiful lady commissar (Greta Garbo) who melts to the bourgeois charms of Paris and Melvyn Douglas, jeopardizing both honor and career. That's love. Garbo fully complements the casual sophistication and stylistic grace of director Ernst Lubitsch, cleverly playing off her dour public image. The satire may be mostly a matter of easy contrasts, but the lovers inhabit a world of elegance and poise that is uniquely and movingly Lubitsch's. Billy Wilder, who would later uncurdle into the last exemplar of the Lubitsch tradition, collaborated on the script.

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