6.7/10
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25 user 3 critic

Spinning Boris (2003)

Russian political elite hires American consultants to help with President Yeltsin's re-election campaign when his approval rating is down to single digits.

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Writers:

, (as Cary Bickley)
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1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Felix Braynin (as Boris Krutonog)
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Vladimir Radian ...
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Konstantin Kazakov ...
Judah Katz ...
Maria Syrgiannis ...
Female Journalist
Ola Sturik ...
Post Office Clerk
Gillian Vanderburgh ...
Dick Dresner's Wife
Serge Timokhin ...
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Storyline

Early in 1996, three Republican campaign operatives take a job in secret assisting Boris Yeltsin's reelection. Once in Moscow, they find he's polling at 6 percent with the election a few months away. While Dick Dresner wants to go home, George Gorton and Joe Shumate vote to stay. First, they must get someone's attention; they succeed finally with Yeltsin's daughter. Then it's polling, focus groups, messages and spin. Even as Yeltsin's numbers go up, the trio are unsure who hired them and whether Yeltsin's allies have a different plan in mind than election victory. When the going gets toughest, it's Gorton who puts a spin on our stake: democracy and capitalism must win. Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Electing a Russian president the American way.

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

23 October 2003 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Yeltsin Project  »

Filming Locations:

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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The scene where Shumate (played by Liev Schreiber) is stacking furniture against the door of his hotel is something that really happened, and happened more than once. The consultants' paranoia is well founded. During the 1996 election cycle in Russia, the campaign manager for the mayor of St. Petersburg had acid thrown in his face, and the running mate for the mayor of Moscow was critically injured in a car bomb. See more »

Goofs

Half way the film, the three protagonists are discussing Tatiana inside Lenin's Mausoleum at the Red Square. It is however strictly forbidden to stand still and speak inside the mausoleum. See more »

Quotes

George Gorton: You never lie to the press. You just try very hard to mislead them.
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User Reviews

Strange truth as fiction
16 October 2004 | by (Youngstown, OH) – See all my reviews

I was watching the election returns in my friends' apartment in St. Petersburg on June 16, 1996, and thus had seen the documentary footage in this film first-hand. Watching "Spinning Boris" on DVD, I did not suspect that it was based on reality rather than conjecture until I watched the interviews with the political consultants on whom it is based. It is a tribute to the writers that the film came off as incredible fiction. Very enjoyable. The dialogue is very clever among the Americans (in the good old "buddy movie" tradition) , and I was impressed at the texture of the Russian setting, all the while not believing the story line. (I recall less dire numbers in the polls, although my Russian friends were very worried about a possible return to Communism).

Apparently, though, I found more humor in the film's situations than I really should have, considering it was based on fact. I regret that this film did not get broader press coverage, for it is as relevant to the current situation in American politics as to the Russian events it portrays.


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