Starring Cyd Charisse, Fred Astaire, Peter Lorre, Janis Paige, Jules Munshin
Stagey. Slight. Beautiful.
Adaptation of an earlier Hollywood drama, starring Greta Garbo, Ninotchka is played this time by Cyd Charisse, a Russian agent at the height of the Cold War sent to Paris to retrieve 4 Russian men who have fallen for the French way of life. Astaire plays an American director, Steve Canfield, responsible for tempting the men in order to produce his new movie. Now he’s going to have to tempt Ninothcka, but she proves a more difficult case. Smart, gently satirical film. The highlight in this musical is Charisse who gets the best role of her career and is completely wonderful. Her and Astaire’s dance numbers are remarkable (with Charisse’s title number being the stand out), while the music is solid but underwhelming.
-Walter Tyrone Howard-