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Comrade X

(1940 b 90')

En: 6 Ed: 5

In this satire an American reporter tries to leave Russia with a Communist, because her father fears for her life.

In the Kremlin Commissar Vasiliev (Oskar Homolka) tells journalists they are to be treated as enemies until Comrade X is found; McKinley Thompson (Clark Gable) has been off drinking and returns to find he must share his room with German Emil Von Hofer (Sig Ruman). Mac hires Olga (Natasha Lytess) as secretary. Reporter Jane Wilson (Eve Arden) gives Mac the news, and he gets rid of Von Hofer by reporting that Germany declared war on Russia. At a funeral Mac gets a photo of an assassin. Mac drinks with Olga and writes the story, using a code.

His valet Vanya (Felix Bressart) tells Mac that Olga is a spy and worries about his daughter Golubka, because she is a Communist. Vanya says Mac must take her out of Russia that night, because he knows Mac is Comrade X. Mac finds Golubka (Hedy Lamarr) driving a streetcar. At the end of the line he invites her to America to work for the cause. She kisses him, and they walk seven miles as she recites a book. Then Golubka tells Mac to go home, because she suspects him. Vanya won't let Mac leave, but Golubka comes in and says she is marrying Mac. They stand in line and are wed by a clerk. She has cancelled two marriages by returning postcards. Golubka finds Olga in his bed and wrestles her but respects who she is. Mac has Golubka change nightgowns, finds she has a photo of the assassin Bastakoff, and goes to see him; but Jane asks Mac to file her story outside Russia. Jane says that she and Mac hate Russia, causing Golubka to get angry at Mac. She wrestles him until they are arrested.

Wounded Commissar Vasiliev questions Mac and Von Hofer about the secret camera found with Vanya, whom he says is Comrade X. Vanya confesses, but Golubka denies it. Vasiliev will check news reports with the code and tells Mac he is detained with Vanya and Golubka. Her friends are brought into jail too and sing. Some are executed. Mac says he has the photo but finds that Bastakoff (Vladimir Sokoloff) has replaced Vasiliev as Police Commissar. Bastakoff gets the photo of himself and wants the negative. Mac asks for Golubka and Vanya. Mac keeps the negative, and the three flee in a car to a train. Golubka is disillusioned that Bastakoff killed his own followers. She drives the tank as they knock out the officers, and the other tanks follow. Their tank slides down a cliff. Mac crosses a river into Romania, and tells Vanya to radio the others to go back. Mac crashes a gate before surrendering. In the final scene the three attend a baseball game.

The contrast between the social conditions of Soviet Russia and America makes for much humorous entertainment as a reporter plays along with a Communist idealist while trying to bring her over to America.

Copyright © 2002 by Sanderson Beck

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