The prologue for the classic 1939 Greta Garbo film reads, “This picture takes place in Paris in those wonderful days when a siren was a brunette and not an alarm – and if a Frenchman turned out the light it was not on account of an air raid!” As promised, here is another peek into this humorous contrast between the Soviet Union and the West.
The three Bolsheviks, sent to sell the jewels are quickly seduced by Paris and Ninotchka is given the charge by her superior, “They’re dragging the good name of our country through every cafe and nightclub. How can the Bolshevik cause gain respect among the Muslims if your three representatives Bujlianoff, Iranoff and Kopalski get so drunk that they throw a carpet out of their hotel window and complain to the management that it didn’t fly?”
Right off the train in Paris, Ninotchka is offered help by a porter. “Why do you want to carry my bags?” she asks. “That is my business,: the porter replies. “That’s no business,” Ninotchka sternly says; “That’s social injustice. “ The porter responds, “That depends on the tip.”
Then she meets Count Leon d’Algout (Leon), played by Melvyn Douglas, and her cold life begins to warm.