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The Inner Circle (1991)

PG-13 | | Drama | 25 December 1991 (USA)
The true story of Ivan Sanchin, the KGB officer who was Stalin's private film projectionist from 1939 until the dictator's death. Told from Sanchin's view, the sympathetic but tragically ... See full summary »

Director:

(as Andrei Konchalovsky)

Writers:

(as Andrei Konchalovsky),
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12 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Katya (16 years)
Mariya Baranova ...
Katya (10 years)
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Vladimir Kuleshov ...
Vsevolod Larionov ...
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Evdokiya Germanova ...
Lyubov Matyushina ...
Aleksandr Garin ...
Mariya Vinogradova ...

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Storyline

The true story of Ivan Sanchin, the KGB officer who was Stalin's private film projectionist from 1939 until the dictator's death. Told from Sanchin's view, the sympathetic but tragically flawed hero maintains unwavering faith in his "Master" despite the arrest of his neighbors and his involvement with their daughter, his wife's affair with the chilling State Security chief Lavrentii Beria and her tragic decline, and the deadly political machinations within the Kremlin he witnesses firsthand. Written by Martin H. Booda <booda@datasync.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

PG-13 | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

| |

Language:

Release Date:

25 December 1991 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Projectionist  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Gross:

$583,979 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

| (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

While in Russia, Tom Hulce met with Alexander Ganshin (upon whose life the film was based) to better learn what it was like to work for Stalin. See more »

Goofs

The movie covers the years 1939 to Stalin's death in 1953. However, it constantly refers to the KGB, an organization that did not come into existence until 1954. Until then the USSR security service was known by a variety of names, most notably the NKVD (Narodny Komisariat Vnutrennykh Del or People's Commissariat of Internal Affairs) between 1934 and 1943. It is this organization that Ivan would have joined in 1939. However, the sign on the NKVD headquarters in the film does read "NKVD" not "KGB". This refers only to foreign versions of movie, because in russian version names are correct. "NKVD" is used in early scenes and "MGB" in '50s. See more »

Quotes

Stalin: I know everything about everything.
See more »

Connections

Features The Great Waltz (1938) See more »

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User Reviews

Sad, beautiful, very moving
22 November 1999 | by (Chicago, Illinois, USA) – See all my reviews

This film is a great favorite of mine, though it's a hard-sell to recommend to friends. It's an extremely moving story that brings tears to your eyes, without manipulating you by "pulling the strings." The pathos emerge from the events and the (very well-played) characters depicted. Russian artists seem to have a special affinity for this, and for Konchalovsky this is a very accessible film. Was it tailor-made for Western audiences? The cast would suggest so. Although Tom Hulce was wonderful in "Amadeus," seeing him in "The Inner Circle" impressed me no end. I think it's telling that more than one reviewer of Russian descent on the IMDb found his characterization quintessentially Russian. It's a damn shame we don't see more of his work in films these days. The character of Ivan's wife Anastasia might have helped given rise to some comments that the characters are two-dimensional. As played by Lolita Davidovich, she is all simple, sweet naivety. Somewhat distractingly, for me she evoked memories of Gilda Radner in her appearance and voice. Nevertheless, I enjoyed her performance, and thought it an honest and effective one. All of us should have the opportunity to know someone like Anastasia in our lifetimes. Like many such characters in works of fiction, she proves to be too good to live. The scene at the end of the film, when Ivan sees the teenaged Katya amongst the mob at Stalin's funeral, and runs over the heads and shoulders of the crowd to prevent her from killing herself in the lethal crush -- it's absolutely devastating. How Konchalovsky finds a credible way to set the scene of their cathartic breakdown to each other to the fourth movement of Tchaikovsky's "Pathetique" symphony is really ingenious. I get misty just writing about it. Maybe it's not for everybody, but I can't praise it highly enough.


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