In Moscow, journalist McKinley B. Thompson masquerades as a rake and a sot. But behind his roué façade is his alter ego “Comrade X”, who publishes embarrassing articles about Russia in the American press. He manages to fool the censors, but the hotel valet Vanya discovers his secret. Vanya promises to remain silent if Thompson agrees to smuggle the valet’s daughter, who is in danger of arrest, out of Russia. However, the lady in question, an exceptionally lovely streetcar driver named Theodore, turns out to be a committed communist. After a fleeting first kiss, she insists on a quick marriage, and with her wilfulness, manages to ensure that the couple spend their wedding night in Lubyanka prison … The poster for the film promised it would be “the funniest love comedy since ‘Ninotchka’!”. And, indeed, a number of people worked on both films, including Walter Reisch, Gottfried Reinhardt, and several actors (Sig Ruman, Felix Bressart). Just as Lubitsch’s classic was a jab at the autocracy of the Soviet Union in the era of the Hitler-Stalin pact, Comrade X paid homage to the anti-authoritarian spirit of Weimar-era cinema.
by King Vidor
With Clark Gable, Hedy Lamarr, Oscar Homolka, Felix Bressart, Eve Arden, Sig Rumann, Natasha Lytess, Vladimir Sokoloff, Edgar Barrier, Georges Renavent
USA 1940 English 90’ Black/White, 35 mm

With

  • Clark Gable
  • Hedy Lamarr
  • Oscar Homolka
  • Felix Bressart
  • Eve Arden
  • Sig Rumann
  • Natasha Lytess
  • Vladimir Sokoloff
  • Edgar Barrier
  • Georges Renavent

Crew

DirectorKing Vidor
ScreenplayBen Hecht, Charles Lederer
StoryWalter Reisch
CinematographyJoseph Ruttenberg, Karl Freund
EditingHarold F. Kress
MusicBronislau Kaper
SoundDouglas Shearer
Art DirectorCedric Gibbons
CostumesAdrian, Gile Steele
Assistant DirectorsTom Andre
ProducerGottfried Reinhardt

Produced by

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Corp. (Loew’s, Inc.) (King Vidor’s production)

Additional information

Print: Warner Bros. Pictures Germany, Hamburg

King Vidor

Filmography (selection)

1919 The Turn in the Road; Lost film 1925 The Big Parade (Die große Parade) 1928 The Crowd (Ein Mensch der Masse) 1929 Hallelujah 1934 Our Daily Bread (Der letzte Alarm) 1938 The Citadel 1940 Northwest Passage (Nordwest-Passage) 1947 Duel in the Sun (Duell in der Sonne) 1949 The Fountainhead (Ein Mann wie Sprengstoff) 1956 War and Peace (Krieg und Frieden) 1959 Solomon and Sheba (Salomon und die Königin von Saba)

Bio- & filmography as of Berlinale 2020