In the Cold War, when the captain of a Russian submarine comes too close to the Gloucester Island in Massachusetts to give a look at America, the submarine gets stranded. A nine-man team commanded by Lieutenant Rozanov goes onshore to search a motor boat to release the submarine and arrives at the summer house of the New Yorker writer Walt Whittaker that is spending the weekend with his family in Gloucester. When he realizes that they are Russians, he believes that it is an invasion. Soon the information leaks, leading hysteria and paranoia along the inhabitants of the small village. Written by
Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
The novel from which the film is based (The Off-Islanders) is written by Nathaniel Benchley, the father of Jaws author Peter Benchley. See more »
At two different times both Arkin and Bikel are at a loss to pronounce "Gloucester", but early in the film it is shown to be /gloster/ on their chart, in very large Cyrillic letters. See more »
[Rozanov arrives on the bridge of the Russian submarine after learing from the chart man how close they are to the USA coast]
[in Russian; subtitled]
What is it Captain? What are you doing?
[to a chart man]
Show me our position.
[the chart man shows Rozanov how close they are to an island]
What? WHAT? Tovarich Captain...
The Russian Captain:
Take it easy.
Permit me, Captain. Look at our position.
The Russian Captain:
I don't need your advice.
[...] See more »
At the end it says THE KONETS, only with "konets" actually written in the Russian alphabet. The word, of course, means END. [It looks like "KOHEU," only with square corners on the U part.] See more »
I rarely rate a movie 10/10, but this is a welcome exception. It is, without doubt, Alan Arkin's finest hour.
The story line is a laugh riot in it's own right. A Russian sub accidentally grounds on an island off New England. A squad of Russians, led by Alan Arkin, are sent ashore to secure a power boat to help free the sub. It all goes flooey and the laugh riot begins. I did think the ending was sappy, but honestly I couldn't think of one more appropriate, so I had to give them a pass.
The cast, in general, is first rate, but the casting of Alan Arkin in the lead role is inspired. He is absolutely hilarious as things spiral out of his control. "Soon there will be World War III and everybody is blaming YOU!" You will recognize some of the faces. Carl Reiner as the self-important New York writer, Brian Keith as the Town Constable, Jonathon Winters as his befuddled deputy, Ben Blue as the town drunk, and Paul Ford as a pompous retired military type. The only flaw was the casting of John Philip Law. He is an engaging actor, but his portrayal of the sensitive Russian sailor just didn't make the grade.
Usually, in a comedy this frantic, the characters tend to get lost in the slapstick. Not so in this case. Each of the characters are fleshed out to the point that you really think you know what they are thinking.
I don't know why I'm writing this review. For those of you who have seen it
no review is necessary. For those of you who haven't - there is no
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