directed by Ernst Lubitsch
USA 1939

 

  Stalin won't like it. Molotoff may even recall his envoy from Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. We still will say Garbo's Ninotchka is one of the sprightliest comedies of the year, a gay and impertinent and malicious show which never pulls its punch lines (no matter how far below the belt they may land) and finds the screen's austere first lady of drama playing a dead-pan comedy role with the assurance of a Buster Keaton. Nothing quite so astonishing has come to the Music Hall since the Rockefellers landed on Fiftieth Street. And not even the Rockefellers could have imagined M-G-M getting a laugh out of Garbo at the U.S.S.R.'s expense.

Ernst Lubitsch, who directed it, finally has brought the screen around to a humorist's view of those sobersided folk who have read Marx but never the funny page, who refuse to employ the word "love" to describe an elementary chemico-biological process, who reduce a spring morning to an item in a weather chart, and who never, never drink champagne without reminding its buyer that goat's milk is richer in vitamins. In poking a derisive finger into these sobersides, Mr. Lubitsch hasn't been entirely honest. But, then, what humorist is? He has created, instead, an amusing panel of caricatures, has read them a jocular script, has expressed—through it all—the philosophy that people are much the same wherever you find them and decent enough at heart. What more could anyone ask?

Excerpt from FRANK S. NUGENT's review from the NY Times - November 10, 1939 

Posters

Theatrical Release: October 6th, 1939

Reviews    More Reviews    DVD Reviews

DVD Review: Warner - Region 1, 2, 3, 4 - NTSC

DVD Box Cover

   

CLICK to order from:

or sold in the 10-disc Garbo - The Signature Collection which includes Anna Christie / Mata Hari / Grand Hotel / Queen Christina / Anna Karenina / Camille / Ninotchka / Garbo Silents.

          

or opt for Garbo Silents alone - Flesh and the Devil (1927), The Mysterious Lady (1928), and The Temptress (1926)

                

 

Distribution Warner Home Video - Region 1, 2, 3, 4 - NTSC
Runtime 1:50:20 
Video 1.33:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 5.73 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate:

Audio English (Dolby Digital 2.0), DUB: French (Dolby Digital 2.0) 
Subtitles English, Spanish, French, None
Features

Release Information:
Studio: Warner Home Video

Aspect Ratio:
Original Aspect Ratio 1.33:1

Edition Details:

• Trailer (2:16)

DVD Release Date: September 6th, 2005

Keep Case
Chapters: 32

 

 

Comments:

Quite probably the best film in the signature collection - a magnificently played out comedy.

The DVD quality is up to Warner's other standards, perhaps exceeding considering the age of the film, - some grain, excellent contrast, well-appointed subtitles, understandable audio drop-outs (very minor). Sharp image considering age and relatively bright with some usual flickering contrast in the beginning. The only extras is the trailer and I suspect the boxset itself packs a little more punch in the extra department. It still stands to reason to be a decent buy at less than $100 for 10 discs - many of which are highly sought films. We will get to reviewing the rest when we can.

Gary W. Tooze

 





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DVD Box Cover

   

CLICK to order from:

or sold in the 10-disc Garbo - The Signature Collection which includes Anna Christie / Mata Hari / Grand Hotel / Queen Christina / Anna Karenina / Camille / Ninotchka / Garbo Silents.

          

or opt for Garbo Silents alone - Flesh and the Devil (1927), The Mysterious Lady (1928), and The Temptress (1926)

                

 

Distribution Warner Home Video - Region 1, 2, 3, 4 - NTSC




 

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