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The Scroll

No. 36: Ninotchka

Falling out of love with the grand promise of Marxism

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1939, dir. Ernst Lubitsch. Ninotchka isn’t a black so much as a bitter comedy: It could only have been made by people who had fallen out of love with the grand promise of Marxism, and, in 1939—the year Stalin signed his pact with Hitler—we know who those people were. Among its greatest joys is the devious glee with which three Russian aristocrats are made into bumbling stock characters straight from the Yiddish stage. Everybody remembers Lubitsch directed; few remember that Wilder co-wrote.

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Les Miller says:

Considering some of the drek on this list, your only shot at cultural and moral redemption is to place “To Be or Not To Be” in the top cut. Tomorrow will tell.


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No. 36: Ninotchka

Falling out of love with the grand promise of Marxism

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