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The Russia House (1990)

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An expatriate British publisher unexpectedly finds himself working for British intelligence to investigate people in Russia.

Director:

Fred Schepisi

Writers:

John le Carré (novel), Tom Stoppard (screenplay)
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Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 4 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Sean Connery ... Barley
Michelle Pfeiffer ... Katya
Roy Scheider ... Russell
James Fox ... Ned
John Mahoney ... Brady
Michael Kitchen ... Clive
J.T. Walsh ... Quinn
Ken Russell ... Walter
David Threlfall ... Wicklow
Klaus Maria Brandauer ... Dante
Mac McDonald ... Bob
Nicholas Woodeson ... Niki Landau
Martin Clunes ... Brock
Ian McNeice ... Merrydew (as Ian McNiece)
Colin Stinton ... Henziger
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Storyline

Three notebooks supposedly containing Russian military secrets are handed to a British publisher during a Russian book conference. The British Secret Service are naturally keen to learn if these notebooks are the genuine article. To this end, they enlist the help of the scruffy British publisher Barley Blair, who has plenty of experience with Russia and Russians. Barley, an unconventional character who doesn't respond well to authority, finds himself in a game more complex than he first thought when he digs into the origin of the notebooks. Written by Murray Chapman <muzzle@cs.uq.oz.au>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

He took a chance because he had nothing to lose, she took a chance because she had everything to gain. See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

MGM

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Russian

Release Date:

21 December 1990 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

John le Carré's The Russia House See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$21,800,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$4,435,650, 25 December 1990, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$22,998,000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This movie was partially filmed in Russia, but it was not the first time that Sir Sean Connery had filmed there, as The Red Tent (1969), in which he starred, filmed there. See more »

Goofs

Near the end of the movie, at the American control center, when an assistant hands Ned a cup of coffee, he tips it enough that you can see the cup is empty. See more »

Quotes

Walter: This is just like school! Dear old, bloody old, school!
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Shirtless: Hollywood's Sexiest Men (2002) See more »

Soundtracks

The Sheik Of Araby
Written by Ted Snyder (as T. Snyder), Francis Wheeler (as F. Wheeler) & Harry B. Smith (as H. B. Smith)
Published by Bienstock Publishing Co. & Filmtrax
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
This is great stuff
13 January 2002 | by konoverSee all my reviews

Admittedly, The Russia House may not be for all tastes, but I saw this when I was 15 when it came out in the theaters and I loved it then and I love it now.

If you go in expecting this to be a James Bond/Simon Templar/North By Northwest type movie, you'll be GRAVELY disappointed. Needless to say, the movie is dialogue driven and the performances are great. Sean Connery (my all-time favorite) gives a nice performance in a role that isn't typical Connery. Michelle Pfeiffer (my favorite actress) is equally excellent. I kept looking for her to flub her Russian accent, but she's on target from start to finish.

The supporting players: Roy Scheider, who I also love, is awesome. There's a lot of witty dialogue in this film, but Scheider has some of the film's most memorable ones. Ken Russell, the controversial director, has an equally memorable, witty role as "Walter". I own this movie, but between the time I saw it in the theaters and the time I bought it a year and half ago, Russell was one of the things about the movie that really stood out in my memory of the film. And of course, James Fox who's always great.

Not really a supporting player but it might as well be is the LOCATIONS. Wow, really breathtaking stuff. Fred Schepsi did a wondrous job with the locations, and the CAMERA. The cinematography and locations were first-rate. And if that wasn't enough, I was equally enthralled with the jazzy musical score. If it isn't already apparent, I love this movie, and I absolutely recommend it.

It has a nice blend of dialogue, plot, romance and humor. I reiterate: Not for all tastes given that many may find it slow, but definitely worth a look. Hope you all enjoy it as much as I did.


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