November 01, 2008

Ten Best Hollywood Films about Russia and Russians

We did a survey of experts and came up with our list of the Ten Best Hollywood Films about Russia and Russians

Directed by Ernst Lubitsch (MGM, 1939)

In one of her most entertaining roles, Swedish-born star Greta Garbo plays a humorless Soviet commissar sent to Paris to expedite a sale of jewels formerly belonging to the Romanovs. Instead, she is seduced and converted by the city’s consumer attractions, and by a playboy Count (Melvyn Douglas). Equipped with an unending supply of anti-Communist witticisms, and that absurd hat Ninotchka at first ridicules but eventually comes to desire (see page 60), the film argues that life may not be fair under capitalism, but it is much more sexy and fun. In the Moscow scenes, Bela Lugosi fuses his Dracula persona to the character of the sinister Communist bureaucrat Razinin. 

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