6.1/10
11,419
64 user 27 critic

The Russia House (1990)

Trailer
1:34 | Trailer

Watch Now

From $2.99 (SD) on Amazon Video

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

Director:

Writers:

(novel), (screenplay)
Reviews
Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 4 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Medicine Man (1992)
Adventure | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

An eccentric scientist working for a large drug company is working on a research project in the Amazon jungle. He sends for a research assistant and a gas chromatograph because he's close ... See full summary »

Director: John McTiernan
Stars: Sean Connery, Lorraine Bracco, José Wilker
The Presidio (1988)
Action | Crime | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

Jay Austin is now a civilian police detective. Colonel Caldwell was his commanding officer years before when he left the military police over a disagreement over the handling of a drunk ... See full summary »

Director: Peter Hyams
Stars: Sean Connery, Mark Harmon, Meg Ryan
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.6/10 X  

Jessie is an aging career criminal who has been in more jails, fights, schemes, and lineups than just about anyone else. His son Vito, while currently on the straight and narrow, has had a ... See full summary »

Director: Sidney Lumet
Stars: Sean Connery, Dustin Hoffman, Matthew Broderick
Rising Sun (1993)
Action | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

At the offices of a Japanese corporation, during a party, a woman, who's evidently a professional mistress, is found dead, apparently after some rough sex. A police detective, Web Smith is ... See full summary »

Director: Philip Kaufman
Stars: Sean Connery, Wesley Snipes, Harvey Keitel
Just Cause (1995)
Action | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

A Harvard professor is lured back into the courtroom after 25 years to take the case of a young black man condemned to death for the horrific murder of a child.

Director: Arne Glimcher
Stars: Sean Connery, Laurence Fishburne, Kate Capshaw
Drama | Music | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Frank and Jack Baker are professional musicians who play in small clubs. They perform cover tunes of music standards and have never needed a day job. Times are changing and dates are ... See full summary »

Director: Steve Kloves
Stars: Jeff Bridges, Michelle Pfeiffer, Beau Bridges
Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

A tailor living in Panama reluctantly becomes a spy for a British agent.

Director: John Boorman
Stars: Pierce Brosnan, Geoffrey Rush, Jamie Lee Curtis
First Knight (1995)
Action | Adventure | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

Lancelot falls in love with Guinevere, who is due to be married to King Arthur. Meanwhile, a violent warlord tries to seize power from Arthur and his Knights of the Round Table.

Director: Jerry Zucker
Stars: Sean Connery, Richard Gere, Julia Ormond
Comedy | Crime | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

An undercover FBI agent falls in love with a recently widowed mafia wife, who is trying to restart her life following her husband's murder while being pursued by a libidinous mafia kingpin seeking to claim her for himself.

Director: Jonathan Demme
Stars: Michelle Pfeiffer, Alec Baldwin, Paul Lazar
Entrapment (1999)
Action | Crime | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

An insurance agent is sent by her employer to track down and help capture an art thief.

Director: Jon Amiel
Stars: Sean Connery, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Ving Rhames
Crime | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

Mac Mckussic is an unlikely drug dealer who wants to go straight. His old and best friend Nick Frescia is now a cop who is assigned to investigate and bring him to justice. Mac is very ... See full summary »

Director: Robert Towne
Stars: Mel Gibson, Michelle Pfeiffer, Kurt Russell
Action | Adventure | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

A SPECTRE agent has stolen two American nuclear warheads, and James Bond must find their targets before they are detonated.

Director: Irvin Kershner
Stars: Sean Connery, Kim Basinger, Klaus Maria Brandauer
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
Ned
...
Brady
...
Clive
...
Quinn
...
Walter
...
Wicklow
...
Dante
Mac McDonald ...
Bob
...
Niki Landau
...
Brock
...
Merrydew (as Ian McNiece)
...
Henziger
Edit

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>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

From John Le Carre's Best-Selling Thriller See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Official Sites:

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

21 December 1990 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

John le Carré's The Russia House  »

Box Office

Gross:

$22,998,000 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

The actual full name of the Barley Blair character (played by Sean Connery) is Bartholomew Scott Blair. 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

Bartholomew "Barley" Scott Blair: Any decent church would have burned you bastards years ago.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Shirtless: Hollywood's Sexiest Men (2002) See more »

Soundtracks

The Sheik Of Araby
Written by Ted Snyder (as T. Snyder), Francis Wheeler (as F. Wheeler) & Harry B. Smith (as H. B. Smith)
Published by Bienstock Publishing Co. & Filmtrax
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Last of the Cold War dramas? (Not for the easily distracted.)
16 May 2004 | by (Tasmania) – See all my reviews

The Russia House is a superior spy romance movie which falls short of being great. Additionally a couple of factors have been unkind to it over time.

Connery and Pfeiffer are excellant; the large cast are almost uniformly outstanding (except perhaps Roy Scheider, who I usually like, but who seems a bit over the top in his role here); the Moscow scenery and end of the Cold War feel are great, and the main characters are easy to like, if difficult to outright love. On the down side the writing assumes too much in expecting the audience to stay on top of the espionage jargon and intrigue, added to the non-linear plot. Let your attention wander and you'll lose your way. If it had been a little easier to follow, it would have left more room for dramatic tension, which was adequate but seldom riveting.

When I said that time has been unkind to The Russia House, I meant two things: firstly that the unfortunate timing of the movie's release, a year before the collapse of the Soviet Union, ensured that it would be dated almost immediately. More significantly, a growing portion of the film's potential audience didn't live through the late Soviet Era, and the nuances of concepts like Glasnost, and why Perestroika makes it hard for Pfeiffer to do her shoe-shopping aren't going to mean a thing to anyone much under 30.

But that's not the movie's fault. Russia House is still a quality, enjoyable drama with a great cast, even if it's somewhat ponderous and slow-moving, and complex. And oh yes - it has James Fox. A film like this without James Fox would have been like a table with three legs.

7 out of 10


29 of 39 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
The Best Film Ever? graham_cook
Walter was the worst part of this film funkenstein3
I haven't seen the film and can't imagine Connery being Barley SweetHotAngel
portugal victoriaannwiliams
Question to the ending eucaloa
Walter phimseto
Discuss The Russia House (1990) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?