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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.



, (as Cary Bickley)

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1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Felix Braynin (as Boris Krutonog)
Vladimir Radian ...
Konstantin Kazakov ...
Judah Katz ...
Maria Syrgiannis ...
Female Journalist
Ola Sturik ...
Post Office Clerk
Gillian Vanderburgh ...
Dick Dresner's Wife
Serge Timokhin ...


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


Electing a Russian president the American way.


Comedy | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language | See all certifications »




Release Date:

23 October 2003 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Yeltsin Project  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


The hotel portrayed in the movie where Gorton, Dresner and Shumate stayed and Tatiana ran the campaign was the "President Hotel." This hotel was known as the "Oktiabraskaya" during Soviet Times, and was where the Soviet Politburo stayed when in Moscow. In addition to a Kremlin view and crystal chandeliers, each room was equipped with gas masks, and the hotel compound was said to be secretly linked to the Moscow metro system for occupants to escape or reinforcements to arrive. See more »


In one of the first scenes, the white cathedral with the golden domes (Cathedral of Christ the Saviour) is depicted in the background. However, this cathedral was destroyed 1931 and rebuilt in 2000. By 1996, the new dome was not yet completed. See more »


Joe Shumate: As long as we keep showing good numbers, the Party of War has no choice but to stay behind us.
Dick Dresner: That's where they have to be, to do what they're gonna do to us.
See more »

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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.

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

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