Film: Silk Stockings

Silk Stockings is the 1957 Musical remake of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer's 1935 Romantic Comedy, Ninotchka, starring Fred Astaire and Cyd Charisse. It was based on a 1954 stage show with music by Cole Porter.

An American movie producer, Steve Canfield (Fred Astaire), wants Russian composer Peter Boroff to write the music for his next movie. The composer decides to stay in Paris, but three Russian operatives, Comrades Brankov, Bibinski and Ivanov are sent from Moscow to take Boroff back. Following Canfield's successful corruption of these three with western luxuries, Nina "Ninotchka" Yoschenko (Cyd Charisse), an Ice Queen displomat, is sent to bring all four men back home...


Tropes include:

  • Adaptation Name Change: Mostly in the Russian characters. Ninotchka is Nina Yoschenko instead of Nina Yakushova. The three commissars are Bibinski, Ivanov, and Brankov instead of Buljanoff, Iranoff, and Kopalski.
  • Call-and-Response Song: "Paris Loves Lovers." The main melody is sung by Canfield, with Ninotchka adding disapproving commentary:
    Paris (Capitalistic!) loves lovers (Characteristic!)
    for lovers (Sensualistic!) it's heaven above (They should be atheistic)
    Paris (Imperialistic!) tells lovers (I'm pessimistic)
    love is supreme, wake up your dream and make love (That's anti-communistic!)
  • Character Development: Ninotchka and Canfield both, under each other's influences.
  • Defrosting Ice Queen: Ninotchka.
  • Distracted by the Luxury: The three commissars are a rare male example of the trope, immediately abandoning their principles for caviar and champagne.
  • Gay Paree: The setting, particularly as described in the song "Paris Loves Lovers."
  • The Hedonist: Steve initially; he uses this to persuade the Russians not to deport Boroff.
  • Ironic Echo: Non-tragic example; to demonstrate the changing relationship between the two leads:
    Iranoff: Do you want to be alone, comrade?
    Ninotchka: No.
    Later: "Go to bed, Little Brother — we want to be alone."
  • Lighter and Softer than the original film, though it still has some fairly pointed humor.
  • That Russian Squat Dance: Brankov (Peter Lorre) does one with grim determination by propping himself up between a chair and a table.
  • The Musical: Of Ninotchka. (All Musicals Are Adaptations.)
  • The Spock: Ninotchka, in the beginning.
  • Truer To The Text: The stage musical strayed a little further from the source—for example, ending with Steve coming to the Soviet Union to find Ninotchka. The movie version sticks closer to the original, ending with Steve arranging to have Ninotchka sent to Paris to retrieve the three commisars, who have opened a Russian restaurant.
  • Uptight Loves Wild, with a genderflip from the usual pattern.