Initially a Broadway musical, which composer Cole Porter adapted from the 1939 film Ninotchka, Silk Stockings takes place during the Cold War in Paris, where a famous Russian composer is caught in a tug of war between American movie producer Steve Canfield (Fred Astaire), who wants to hire him, and the Soviet agents who want to whisk him back to Mother Russia. Thanks largely to Porter’s songs – including Paris Loves Lovers and Fated to be Mated – Silk Stockings makes international politics frothy and fun. And with Cyd Charisse as the lead Soviet official whose cold heart warms to Canfield’s capitalistic charms, the movie even melts into a romance. Silk Stockings has plenty of digs at the Soviet system – eclectic director Rouben Mamoulian was born in Russia – while also taking a few bites at the hand that fed it. As Peggy Dayton, ‘America’s swimming sweetheart’ and a likely source of inspiration for Melanie Griffith, Broadway fixture Janis Paige offers a nice spoof of flighty starlets. There’s also a clever Porter number, ‘Stereophonic Sound,’ ridiculing the technical gimmicks in vogue during 1950s Hollywood.