7.2/10
108
2 user 1 critic

The Defection of Simas Kudirka (1978)

Based on the true story of the attempted defection in 1970 by a Lithuanian seaman seeking political asylum in the United States. Kudirka was denied asylum and returned to the Soviets, ... See full summary »

Director:

Writer:

Reviews
Won 2 Primetime Emmys. Another 1 win & 3 nominations. See more awards »
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Red Alert (TV Movie 1977)
Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A computer at a nuclear power plant malfunctions and receives erroneous information of a radiation leak. It seals off the compound, trapping the crew inside.

Director: William Hale
Stars: William Devane, Michael Brandon, Adrienne Barbeau
Berlin Tunnel 21 (TV Movie 1981)
Thriller | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

In Berlin in 1961, an American soldier and a German engineer join forces to build a tunnel under the Berlin Wall in order to smuggle out refugees, including the soldier's East German girlfriend.

Director: Richard Michaels
Stars: Richard Thomas, Horst Buchholz, José Ferrer
Having Babies III (TV Movie 1978)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  
Director: Jackie Cooper
Stars: Kathleen Beller, Patty Duke, Phil Foster
With This Ring (TV Movie 1978)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Writer Terence Mulcahy has crafted a send-up of weddings with an all-star cast.

Director: James Sheldon
Stars: Tony Bill, Tom Bosley, Diana Canova
Ski Lift to Death (TV Movie 1978)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.6/10 X  

A sports promoter tries to matchmake for a pair of ski champions and as a result, they end up trapped in a derailed ski-lift car, along with a gangster and the hitman sent to kill him.

Director: William Wiard
Stars: Deborah Raffin, Charles Frank, Don Galloway
Flesh & Blood (TV Movie 1979)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

A convict takes up boxing in prison and this brings a new meaning to his life. Once out, his trainer motivates him to become a professional boxer. He cares about only two other things, his uncomfortably close mother and absent father.

Director: Jud Taylor
Stars: Luca Bercovici, Tom Berenger, John Cassavetes
Steeletown (TV Movie 1979)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.7/10 X  
Director: Robert L. Collins
Stars: Bibi Besch, Michael Biehn, Kraig Cassity
Murder at the Mardi Gras (TV Movie 1978)
Comedy | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  
Director: Ken Annakin
Stars: Barbi Benton, James Borders, Didi Conn
The Gift (TV Movie 1979)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  
Director: Don Taylor
Stars: Kevin Bacon, Glenn Ford, Julie Alter
Act of Love (TV Movie 1980)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

Old country traditions and values cause Ron Howard to honor the pleas of his brother (played by Mickey Rourke), a quadriplegic following a motorcycle accident, to end his life, and then to ... See full summary »

Director: Jud Taylor
Stars: Ron Howard, Robert Foxworth, Mickey Rourke
Letters from Frank (TV Movie 1979)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  
Director: Edward Parone
Stars: Lew Ayres, Guy Bannerman, Shirley Barclay
Having Babies II (TV Movie 1977)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

The story of various couples who get caught up in the personal and emotional crises of birth, adoption and hospitalization, and also of the hospital and health care workers who take care of them.

Director: Richard Michaels
Stars: Tony Bill, Cliff Gorman, Carol Lynley
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Simas Kudirka
...
Commander Edward Devon
...
Captain Vladimir Popov
...
Gruzauskas
...
Phillip Chadway
...
Genna Kudirka
Marvin Silbersher ...
Commander Burkalis
Peter Evans ...
Mott
...
Blain
Barton Heyman ...
Dr. Paegle
...
Kabek
...
Baltrunar
...
Petras
Salem Ludwig ...
Assistant Supervisor
Donald Warnock ...
Stender (as Don Warnock Jr.)
Edit

Storyline

Based on the true story of the attempted defection in 1970 by a Lithuanian seaman seeking political asylum in the United States. Kudirka was denied asylum and returned to the Soviets, charged with treason, and sentenced to ten years of hard labor. It was later discovered and verified that his mother had been born in Brooklyn and gone to Lithuania at a young age, which meant she was a U. S. citizen. As a result, Kudirka was declared a U. S. citizen and in 1974 released by the Soviets. Written by Steve Bulota

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

character name in title | See All (1) »

Genres:

Drama

Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

23 January 1978 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

La deserción de Simas Kudirka  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Goofs

During Mr. Chadway's yelling in his officer of what has happened, for over five seconds, we can see what appears to be the boom mic hanging just in frame overhead. A couple minutes later when letting some guests in, on the left, upward, we can see what appears to be another piece of filming equipment. See more »

Quotes

Commander Edward Devon: Where is he?
[running up some steps; an officer opens up a door to what appears to be a closet]
Simas Kudirka: Hello! I am here! Thank you!
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Cold War Drama at Sea
20 December 2004 | by (Washington DC) – See all my reviews

The Defection of Simas Kudirka is a made-for television movie based on the actual defection of a Lithuanian sailor to a U.S. Coast Guard cutter in 1970. Simas Kudirka, played by Alan Arkin, jumps ship only to be returned to the Soviet ship by force. After spending time in a Soviet prison, Kudirka is allowed to immigrate to the United States after it is learned that his mother was born in New York.

The movie nicely details the political and military ramifications from the fallout of one of the most shameful episodes in Coast Guard history. I was a sailor on board one of the two Coast Guard cutters involved in the filming of the movie in 1977. The movie was filmed in Portsmouth, NH, the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard in Kittery Maine, and off the coast of New Hampshire and southern Maine. The final scene shows Simas Kudirka (Arkin) and his wife Genna (Shirley Knight) reviewing the crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Vigilant, the ship onto which Kudirka jumped. The actual ship shown in the movie was the USCGC Decisive at its home port of New Castle, NH.


10 of 10 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Simas Kudirka Returned to Lithuania in 2002! gordon-125
Discuss The Defection of Simas Kudirka (1978) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?