Join Lawrence Toppman in loving the movies of 1939

04/26/2014 12:00 AM

04/25/2014 11:24 AM

Observer arts writer Lawrence Toppman is blogging about the best year in film history, 1939. Learn about the first two movies in his monthly series – “The Hunchback of Notre Dame” and “Ninotchka” – at charlotteobserver.com/arts or stateoftheartclt.blogspot.com. Here’s a snippet:

“Ninotchka” was marketed with the tagline “Garbo laughs!” Greta Garbo had been one of Hollywood’s tragedy queens for more than a decade when she earned her fourth and final Oscar nomination in the title role of this Ernst Lubitsch comedy.

Director Lubitsch, a German emigre and three-time Oscar nominee himself, made two films about Europe during World War II: “Ninotchka” and “To Be or Not To Be.” His urbane comedies often dealt with serious subjects in a witty way, whether lampooning Hitler in “To Be or Not To Be” or mocking Soviet totalitarianism in “Ninotchka.”

Entertainment Videos

Join the Discussion

Charlotte Observer is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere on the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Terms of Service