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Comrades Iranoff (Sig Ruman), Buljakoff (Felix Bressart) and Kopalski
(Alexander Granach) are sent to Paris by the Russian gouvernment to sell
the confiscated jewels of Countess Swana (Ina Claire). The Countess, who
lives in exile in France though, learns about this and sends her lover,
Count Léon (Melvyn Douglas), to retrieve her jewels any which way.
Iranoff, Buljakoff and Kopalski in the meantime have taken a liking to the
capitalist lifestyle in France and are thus in no hurry to sell the
jewels, they rather try to postpone any kind of sale interminally - so
much so that the Russian gouvernment sends a special envoy after them,
Ninotchka (Greta Garbo). At first, she's full of disdain towards the
capitalist lifestyle, and against Léon in particular, whom he meets
without at first knowing his agenda. But she soon softens up to both the
lifestyle and the Count, and eventually they become a couple - but after
having spent a night with him, the jewels she has since retrieved from
Iranoff, Buljakoff and Kopalski are gone, as Countess Swana had them
stolen. She promises to return them though, under the condition that
Ninotchka leaves Paris - and especially Léon - for good. Out of
patriotism, Ninotchka gives in to the Countess's demands, even if it
breaks her heart.
Back in Russia, Ninotchka can't come to terms with the
communist lifestyle anymore, nor does the lack of news from Léon (his
letters are either confiscated or heavily censored) make her any happier,
so she grabs the next best assignment to get out of the country again -
again to comrades Iranoff, Buljakoff and Kopalski, who are now in Turkey,
back on track. In Turkey though, she is reunited with Léon, who convinces
her to never return to Russia.
Light-footed and charming
romantic comedy from a time before romantic comedies were exclusively made
for women and were still allowed to touch political subjects (if in a
rather shallow way). An elegant direction (but would you expect anything
else from Ernst Lubitsch), great performances by all of the involved and a
genuinely funny script make this one a totally entertaining movie, even 70
years after its original release.