Comrade X (1940)

87 mins | Comedy-drama | 13 December 1940

Director:

King Vidor

Cinematographer:

Joseph Ruttenberg

Editor:

Harold F. Kress

Production Designer:

Cedric Gibbons

Production Company:

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Corp.
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HISTORY

Although onscreen credits list George Renavent as Laszlo, the Var review credits John Picorri with the role. According to a news item in HR , Herman Mankiewicz was to have written the screenplay for the film, but his participation in the final film cannot be confirmed as he is not credited on screen, in SAB or reviews. The film was nominated for an Academy Award for Best ... More Less

Although onscreen credits list George Renavent as Laszlo, the Var review credits John Picorri with the role. According to a news item in HR , Herman Mankiewicz was to have written the screenplay for the film, but his participation in the final film cannot be confirmed as he is not credited on screen, in SAB or reviews. The film was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Screenplay. More Less

BIBLIOGRAPHIC SOURCES
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Daily Variety
4 Dec 40
p. 3.
Film Daily
11 Dec 40
p. 5.
Hollywood Reporter
11 May 40
p. 1.
Hollywood Reporter
23 Aug 40
pp. 8-9.
Hollywood Reporter
10 Sep 40
p. 2.
Hollywood Reporter
4 Dec 40
p. 3.
Motion Picture Daily
9 Dec 40
p. 3.
Motion Picture Herald
7 Dec 40
p. 42.
New York Times
26 Dec 40
p. 23.
Variety
11 Dec 40
p. 16.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXT
A King Vidor Production
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
PRODUCER
WRITERS
Scr
Orig story
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
Night exteriors cam
ART DIRECTORS
Art dir
Art dir assoc
FILM EDITOR
Film ed
SET DECORATOR
Set dec
COSTUMES
Gowns
Men's cost
MUSIC
Mus score
SOUND
Rec dir
MAKEUP
Makeup
DETAILS
Release Date:
13 December 1940
Production Date:
began late August 1940
Copyright Claimant:
Loew's Inc.
Copyright Date:
10 December 1940
Copyright Number:
LP10113
Physical Properties:
Sound
Western Electric Sound System
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
87
Length(in reels):
9
Country:
United States
PCA No:
6794
SYNOPSIS

McKinley B. Thompson, a newspaper reporter for the Texas Bugle , masquerades as an irresponsible roue in order to hide his identity as Comrade X, the mysterious reporter who is sending embarrassing stories about Russia to a big newspaper syndicate. Thompson learns that Vanya, the valet in his Moscow hotel, has discovered his secret identity when the old man demands that the reporter take his daughter out of the country before she is shot as a Communist. Under threat of exposure, Thompson agrees to meet Vanya's daughter, a streetcar conductor who uses the name Theodore because only men are allowed to drive streetcars. Thompson tries to convince the girl to go to America with him to spread the gospel of Communism, but she stubbornly refuses to leave until she has had time to investigate him. Later that night, Theodore appears on Thompson's doorstep and announces that they will be married because that is the only way they can leave the country to spread Communism. After returning from their perfunctory wedding ceremony, Thompson is arrested with his bride by police commissar Vasiliev and questioned about the secret camera of Comrade X that was found in Vanya's room. Sentenced to death by the state, 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 of the resurgents. Tricking Bastakoff by offering to turn over his evidence, Thompson seizes the opportunity to escape with Vanya and Theodore. The ... +


McKinley B. Thompson, a newspaper reporter for the Texas Bugle , masquerades as an irresponsible roue in order to hide his identity as Comrade X, the mysterious reporter who is sending embarrassing stories about Russia to a big newspaper syndicate. Thompson learns that Vanya, the valet in his Moscow hotel, has discovered his secret identity when the old man demands that the reporter take his daughter out of the country before she is shot as a Communist. Under threat of exposure, Thompson agrees to meet Vanya's daughter, a streetcar conductor who uses the name Theodore because only men are allowed to drive streetcars. Thompson tries to convince the girl to go to America with him to spread the gospel of Communism, but she stubbornly refuses to leave until she has had time to investigate him. Later that night, Theodore appears on Thompson's doorstep and announces that they will be married because that is the only way they can leave the country to spread Communism. After returning from their perfunctory wedding ceremony, Thompson is arrested with his bride by police commissar Vasiliev and questioned about the secret camera of Comrade X that was found in Vanya's room. Sentenced to death by the state, 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 of the resurgents. Tricking Bastakoff by offering to turn over his evidence, Thompson seizes the opportunity to escape with Vanya and Theodore. The threesome steal a Russian general's tank complete with the general and, followed by the Soviet army, rumble their way to freedom across the Rumanian border. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.