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The Kremlin Letter (1970)

M  -  Thriller  -  1 February 1970 (USA)
6.5
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Ratings: 6.5/10 from 1,102 users  
Reviews: 39 user | 17 critic

A network of older spies from the West recruits a young intelligence officer with a photographic memory to accompany them on a mission inside Russia. They must recover a letter written by ... See full summary »

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(novel), (screenplay), 1 more credit »
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Title: The Kremlin Letter (1970)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Erika Kosnov
...
...
...
...
Madam Sophie
Micheál MacLiammóir ...
...
...
B.A.
Ronald Radd ...
Captain Potkin
...
...
Puppet Maker
...
...
Sandor Elès ...
Lt. Grodin (as Sandor Eles)
Niall MacGinnis ...
Erector Set
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Storyline

A network of older spies from the West recruits a young intelligence officer with a photographic memory to accompany them on a mission inside Russia. They must recover a letter written by the CIA that promises American assistance to Russia if China gets the atomic bomb. Written by <eteam@sunsent.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

World War III...in an envelope! See more »

Genres:

Thriller

Certificate:

M | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

| |

Release Date:

1 February 1970 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Brevet til Kreml  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This movie has been called an amalgam of two of director John Huston's earlier films, The Asphalt Jungle (1950) and The Maltese Falcon (1941). See more »

Goofs

When Ward and the Whore talk in the bathroom at the end, the movie crew is reflected in the tiles. See more »

Quotes

Sweet Alice: [Opening lines of the film]
[Sweet Alice has checked a briefcase as he enters the museum in Paris, takes the claim check]
Sweet Alice: So, the man in Moscow's agreed to send back the letter.
Polakov: For one million dollars.
Sweet Alice: Mmm, for that kind of money we're entitled to know his name.
Polakov: And then what further need would you have of me?
Sweet Alice: When do you get back to Paris?
Polakov: One week, ten days.
Sweet Alice: I see. Well, you have one week to recover the letter. Seven days, Polakov.
[Lays down the claim check]
[...]
See more »

Connections

Referenced in John Huston: The Man, the Movies, the Maverick (1988) See more »

Soundtracks

Love Is a Many-Splendored Thing
(uncredited)
Music by Sammy Fain
Played on piano at the San Francisco gay bar
See more »

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User Reviews

A Huston 'Throwaway'? I disagree...
14 January 2001 | by (CT, USA) – See all my reviews

I will never forget the image of Ward whispering 'We will do anything...' as Bresnavitch's (Welles' appearance is almost a cameo; purely setup for the story) face is caught in the flicker of the projector (see the movie to understand his fear) . The 'cruelty' of the game is played out in these few moments.

The story line is simple and I won't repeat it here. I will say that from the Highwayman's exit (near the beginning) to the final revelation, the film is non-stop. George Sanders is a bonus. Not absolutely necessary to the story but certainly an amplification of the stakes involved.

Ward is the key to the story (no pun intended). Rone is drawn in for his memory. The Whore, jaded and disinterested in anything other than his immediate existence agrees to participate for money... or perhaps something else.

Remember the opening scene in Mission Impossible (Tom Cruise version)? Phelps' wife is drugged and the race is on to get the information so she can be given the antidote. Contrast this 'we're in it together' attitude with the 'I'm in it for myself' attitude of the Kremlin Letter; lots of lies and deception, but completely self-serving. Not a platitude in sight. A refreshing 'honesty' for the new millennium... from a film nearly thirty years old.

Having seen several versions including the original theatrical release, television cut and the second theatrical release I can understand the misconceptions surrounding this film.

This film is extremely violent. The violence is not the '90's variety. You aren't shown it but you feel it. Bresnavitch's fear... Rone's 'matter of fact' attitude... Ward's 'direction'... The Highwayman's' resignation...

Oh, the method for Russian/English/Russian translation must be experienced. It might not be a first but I haven't seen it in any film since.

Finally I must add that there is not one likeable character in this movie... they are all far too human.


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When will this movie be available on DVD? charles_bianchi
DVD coming 11/7/06 jkinoz
Underrated captmagenta
Why is this film SO unavailable. masonj-1
John Huston's Failure? Nonsense geneb5
Link to DVD release March of 2011 tybarius57
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