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An Englishman Abroad (1983)

TV Movie  -   -  Drama  -  2 September 1984 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.7/10 from 297 users  
Reviews: 8 user | 2 critic

Actress Coral Browne travels to Moscow, and meets a mysterious Englishman. Turns out he's the notorious spy, Guy Burgess. Based on a true story, with Ms. Browne playing herself.



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Coral Browne ...
Harold Innocent ...
Mark Wing-Davey ...
Judy Gridley ...
Denys Hawthorne ...
Trevor Baxter ...
Pyjama shop manager
Shoe shop assistant Bootmaker
Alexei Jawdokimov ...
The boy
Molly Veness ...
Mrs. Burgess


Actress Coral Browne travels to Moscow, and meets a mysterious Englishman. Turns out he's the notorious spy, Guy Burgess. Based on a true story, with Ms. Browne playing herself. Written by David Spalding <>

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Release Date:

2 September 1984 (USA)  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Frank Mills, John Quarmby, Robert McBain and Chris Sullivan were on the ideas list for the role of The Shoe Shop Owner. See more »


When Coral, in Burgess' flat, says 'The theatre's in a dreadful state', her lips are out of sync. See more »


Coral: You steal my soap, you steal my cigarettes, you even stole my face powder.
Guy Burgess: I know. One should have asked. One is such a coward.
See more »


Featured in Zomergasten: Episode #6.2 (1993) See more »

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User Reviews

Moscow in Scotland
30 March 2006 | by (Japan) – See all my reviews

One of the best films I have seen, which considering its television origins is saying something. The acting is superb, the atmosphere so rich and distinctive you can smell and taste it, even if you were never in drab, old Moscow. Typical of Alan Bennett, the action is all compressed into small spaces and the dialogue is within the context of small surroundings, whether it be the physical confines of the flat, or changing rooms, or in the spiritual confines of gossip and ideology.

The times when the characters are out in the open are the times of liberation, and comparative quiet. It is then that the character of Moscow comes out, and this is all the more striking as the character is so strong, and yet is played by 2 pretenders: the cities of Dundee and Inverness. The theatre is played by the Caird Hall, Dundee, the slightly oddly designed long hall, described by Bob Hope as the first time he ever played a tunnel, and beautifully transformed into the utterly realistic central theatre of Cold War Moscow. There are also Russian performances by the Grammar School, Clydesdale Bank, and, most lovely, the MacManus Gallery, which plays the British Embassy. There are other scenes, which were filmed in Inverness, although I did once read that Helsinki may have been used for some long shots. Not being a real film buff, I wouldn't know.

The film isn't about spies, politics, wars, cold or otherwise, but about humanity, and what drives and excites us. It has humour, great sadness, and the most amazing sense of being both a delightful confection, and a most genuine and unselfconscious tale of reality.

12 of 12 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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