(1939)4.5Richard GilliamNinotchka connects the careers of 1930s directing great Ernst Lubitsch and future directing great Billy Wilder, who was among a quartet of writers who did credited work on this film. The film evidences the strength of both, Lubitsch's lighter style works together with Wilder's more cutting dialogue. The production values and tech credits are first-rate, with the glossy look and classy feel that were the hallmarks of MGM in this era. Greta Garbo, with more than a little self-parody, proves herself adept at comedy, and Melvyn Douglas shows why he was one of the screen's most in-demand romantic leads of the 1930s. This is one of the rare opportunities to see Bela Lugosi in a likable, non-horrific role, though it was, regrettably, Lugosi's last supporting performance in a high-budget film. Douglas, on the other hand, would unexpectedly emerge in later decades as one of the screen's best and most versatile dramatic actors.