Taking a look at the movies now playing, I must say, is annoying. No wonder the movie biz is going under. First we have Oprah Winfrey and Steven Spielberg’s “The Hundred Foot Journey” all about food (hey guys, thanks to your pushy politics, who can afford groceries anymore). Next we have “Into the Storm” (if I hear one more stupid thing about global warming, I’ll explode). Also currently playing is: “The Expendables 3” (I can see that amount of violence now any night on the news) and “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” (enough said).
So I’d like to take a look back at some of the classic films, one that I know will be entertaining even today. “Ninotchka” (starring Greta Garbo and Melvyn Douglas and yes, even Bela Lugosi as a communist – close to a vampire, right?) is a brilliant comedy written by Billy Wilder and originally advertised as “Garbo Laughs”. However it is so much more than that. It is a hysterical and satirical look at Capitalism compared to the Communist political system (or should I say “Income Inequality”?). Masterfully produced and directed by Ernest Lubitsch, it follows four communist emissaries as they enter the decadent world of Paris pre World War II. They are there to take possession and sell jewelry confiscated from the Russian aristocracy during the revolution of 1917. Biting in commentary and comparisons, it will keep you laughing from beginning to end, and the language seems so relevant to the overplayed liberal lingo of today.
In one of it’s earliest reviews, it was stated: “Stalin, we repeat, won’t like it” (wonder if Putin does) and was originally banned in Russia. In 1990, the Library of Congress selected “Ninotchka” for preservation for being “culturally, historically or aesthetically significant” and I think you would agree it’s wit and satire is just as stinging today.
Clip from Ninotchka: