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The Russia House (1990)

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

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(novel), (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:
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Ned
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Brady
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Clive
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Quinn
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Walter
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Wicklow
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Dante
Mac McDonald ...
Bob
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Niki Landau
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Brock
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Merrydew (as Ian McNiece)
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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>

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Their love was as dangerous as the secrets they kept. See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Official Sites:

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Language:

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Release Date:

21 December 1990 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

John le Carré's The Russia House  »

Box Office

Gross:

$22,998,000 (USA)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The synopsis of the novel "The Russia House" (1989) by John le Carré, on his personal website, reads: "It is the third summer of perestroika. Barley Blair, London publisher, receives a smuggled document from Moscow. Blair, jazz-loving, drink-marinated, dishevelled, is hardly to the taste of the spymasters, yet he has to be used - sent to the Soviet Union to make contact. Katya, the Moscow intermediary, is beautiful, thoughtful, equally sceptical of all state ideology. Together, as the safe clichés of hostility disintegrate, they may represent the future - an idea that is anathema to the entrenched espionage professionals on both sides." 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

Russell: The trouble is, a lot of very favorite sons are in danger of having their rice bowls broken, all on account of these goddamn notebooks. The Soviet military effort is stalled, the American military effort is stalled. These notebooks say their rocket motors suck instead of blow, they can't do solid fuel for shit...
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Connections

Referenced in Omnibus: Inside the Russia House (1991) See more »

Soundtracks

Ain't Misbehavin'
Written by Fats Waller (as Thomas "Fats" Waller), Harry Brooks & Andy Razaf
Published by Bienstock Publishing Co. & Filmtrax
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
The first and best western film to come from Soviet Russia
7 March 2005 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

The Russia House is an amazing movie. It captures the majesty of Russia in visits to Moscow and St. Petersburg (Leningrad) as well as the crumbling Soviet state. The first western movie filmed in the Soviet Union, The Russia House is better defined as a love story than as a spy thriller. Do not be concerned however, spy fans. There is plenty of intrigue to be had in this beautiful movie. The interplay between Sean Connery, Roy Scheider and J.T. Walsh in a scene from Vancouver, British Columbia alone is worth the price of admission. However, the true star of this understated romance is James Fox, who plays the British contact for Connery's Scott Blair and the foil for the CIA's Scheider character in such gentlemanly fashion as to make the audience believe the true Bond-style gentleman-spy really does exist in this world. From the beautiful scenery to perhaps the best and most haunting soundtrack of any movie--ever (reviews abound--just look them up, friends--easily the great Jerry Goldsmith's finest work), the Russia House is a truly mysterious and romantic movie.


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