Comrade X (Hedy Lamarr, Clark Gable, dir: King Vidor)

From a film by:

Mike Grost: NINOTCHKA relates to a very long history of political satire in Lubistch. This satire on Communism is an unofficial sequel to TROUBLE IN PARADISE, Lubitsch's satire on Capitalism.

Call it heresy, but I was looking at King Vidor's Comrade X some weeks ago, and...well, I enjoyed it a lot more than Nintochka. Not sure why--maybe that Lamarr is so much more a warm, sensuous presence than Garbo (a goddess, okay...but goddesses are untouchable), and the jokes here seem to have more teeth (a commissar is willing to have all his followers shot to prove his loyalty). But I never thought Ninotchka was Lubitsch's best, it's probably all apples and oranges (you might say X's story begins where Ninotchka ended) and I seem to prefer Ben Hecht over Wilder anyway...

From Forum with No Name:

ted fontenot: Although it is by no means Lubitsch's best, I like Ninotchka, but not especially because of Garbo. Douglas is quite personable, as is Garbo's foil, and the ensemble of supporting players is buoyant. Garbo is just the straight man for everyone, and in this capacity she's surpisingly good.

The movie Lamarr made with James Stewart right after Comrade X wasn't bad either. The premise wasn't particularly original, but for a while there it looked like it was going to develop into something special. It never lives up to that, but still it's interesting. Lamarr seems to have been underserved by Hollywood for some reason; she just didn't have many quality projects. I wonder why.

I like Ninotchka too, and I agree, it's mostly the story and the little touches of characterization from the cast. But I do think Comrade X is stronger, funnier.

The film is famous (or that's what I gather) for the lack of chemistry between Gable and Lamarr, but Lamarr makes up for most of it, sensually speaking, and Gable is game. They're funny together.

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