“Ninotchka” (1939) Classic Movie Review by Holly Woodland (Five Stars)

PolitiChicks.comTaking 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: 

Holly Woodland

Holly Woodland is a native Californian who has been in the entertainment industry for over 30 years. In 'real life' she is a working actress, author and now Holly Woodland, a Hollywood film critic. Holly began her acting career on the stages of New York and leading theaters across the country. Once gaining her professional theater credits, she moved back to Los Angeles where she appeared in several television series including: Weeds, Grey's Anatomy, and was a regular comedic sketch artist on Jay Leno's Tonight Show for several years. She has authored many live theatrical productions, which are currently running across the United States. Holly's travels both in this country and abroad gives her the perspective of what she feels real people want to see in entertainment, whether it be films of today or the glorious films of the past.

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