10 November 2019 | boblipton
A Communist In Evening Clothes
Loretta Young is married to Eugene Pallette, but they live in Paris and separated. Melvyn Douglas is a communist who winds up shooting Pallette in the pinky, because every time Pallette comes into the cafe where Douglas lives, he drinks his coffee with his pinky out. Of course, they fall in love.... Miss Young and Douglas, that is.
It's a sort of inversion of of Ernst Lubitsch's NINOTCHKA, in which no one really believes in anything but men and women, but they start out thinking they do. It's nicely complicated, although it lacks the brilliance of Lubitsch's film because the director is Alexander Hall. Hall was a highly competent director of sophisticated comedies, but he lacked, like everyone else, the Lubitsch touch. Had NINOTCHKA not existed, this would have been a fine comedy; however, it does, and so this seems highly derivative and occasionally strident.
There's a nice supporting role for Curt Bois, who had been forced out of Germany in 1934. He would return in 1950.