The original text
The original idea for a romantic comedy about a Russian spymaster who falls in love on a visit to Paris, was proposed by Melchior Lengyel in 1937, then converted to a screen play for Greta Garbo, entitled Ninotchka (1939). Melchior won an Oscar for his original story.
Translations and adaptations
Translated into English
Made famous by the movie Ninotchka (1939), featuring Greta Garbo in her first comedy role, and later adapted to the musical 1955, a Broadway musical Silk Stockings, . In 1955, a Broadway musical Silk Stockings, written by Cole Porter based on the 1939 story and script, starring Hildegard Neff and Don Ameche opened. The musical was adapted as a 1957 film directed by Rouben Mamoulian and starring Fred Astaire and Cyd Charisse. Actor George Tobias, who played the commissar in Silk Stockings, also had a small role in Ninotchka as the man who gets punched by Leon for refusing him a visa. The films Comrade X (1940), starring Clark Gable and Hedy Lamarr and The Iron Petticoat (1956), starring Bob Hope and Katharine Hepburn, both borrow heavily from Ninotchka.
South African performances
Rinie Stead, 1985b
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