Thursday, April 8, 2010
Comrade X (1940)
Comrade X is a 1940 lighthearted spy movie, starring Clark Gable and Hedy Lamarr and directed by King Vidor. Recommended by Paul.
Newspaper reporter McKinley B. Thompson, wants to hide his identity as Comrade X, the reporter who is writing stories about Russia for the big newspapers. Vanya, the valet in his Moscow hotel, has found out who he is and demands that the he take his daughter out of the country before she is shot as a Communist. Thompson agrees to meet Vanya's daughter, a streetcar conductor who uses the name Theodore. Thompson tries to convince the girl to go to America with him, but she wants to investigate him first.
Later, Theodore shows up on Thompson's doorstep and announces that they will be married because that is the only way they can leave the country. After returning from their wedding he is questioned about the camera of Comrade X that was found in Vanya's room. Sentenced to death, Thompson offers to expose the head of the counter-revolution in exchange for his life and those of Vanya and Theodore.
Taken to the commissar's office, Thompson is shocked to find not Vasiliev but Michael Bastakoff, the new commissar and the former leader. Tricking Bastakoff by offering to turn over his evidence, Thompson escapes with Vanya and Theodore. The threesome steal a Russian tank with the general inside and followed by the Soviet army. Will they cross over the Romanian border in time?
The second and final film Hedy Lamarr and Clark Gable made together. It's a fun comedy and Hedy Lamarr is just adorable in all her interesting outfits. Clark Gable's humor works perfectly in this movie.
At age 16, she left Tamalpais High School and joined a stock theater company. She made her film debut, in the backstage musical, Song of Love (1929). She played a wisecracking showgirl who becomes a rival to the film's star, singer Belle Baker.
Her film career began in 1937, when she performed in the films: Oh Doctor and Stage Door. Her Stage Door performance as the witty supporting character, was to be a template for many of Arden's future roles.
Her many memorable screen roles include: Mildred Pierce (1945) for which she received an Academy Award nomination as Best Supporting Actress, and James Stewart's wistful secretary in, Anatomy of a Murder (1959). (One of her co-stars in that film was husband Brooks West.) She also performed some acrobatics while trying to steal a wallet from Groucho Marx in the film, At the Circus (1939).