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Archangel (2005)

TV Movie  |   |  Crime, Drama, Mystery  |  5 January 2006 (Estonia)
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Reviews: 36 user | 8 critic

A British college professor working in Russia investigates certain mysteries surrounding the life and death of Joseph Stalin.



(novel), (screenplay), 1 more credit »
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Prof. Fluke Kelso
Zinaida Rapava
R.J. O'Brian
Lev Prygunov ...
Vladimir Mamantov
Harry Ditson ...
Frank Adelman
Anna Gerasimova ...
Claudia Harrison ...
Kaspars Zvigulis ...
Young Papu Rapava
Valery Chernyak ...
Old Papu Rapava
Aurelija Anuzhite ...
Ziedonis Lochmelis ...
Jakov Rafalson ...
Moscow Official (as Yakov Rafalson)


Set in contemporary Moscow and the frozen northern town of Archangel, the drama revisits the stark landscape of Communist Russia and takes place over four days in the life of academic Fluke Kelso. His fateful meeting with a former Stalinist bodyguard leads to the uncovering of one of the world's most dangerous and best kept secrets. He is led unwittingly through murder and intrigue towards his own personal "Holy Grail" - Joseph Stalin's secret legacy - a legacy that could change the face of Russian history forever. Written by Christopher Hall

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


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Parents Guide:






Release Date:

5 January 2006 (Estonia)  »

Also Known As:

Arcángel  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


(2 parts)

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Icon Productions originally held the film rights to the novel, with intentions to develop it as a Mel Gibson vehicle for the big screen. See more »


The pistol that Kelso gives to Zinaida on the train has a woodgrain handle; it is not the same pistol shown in other scenes. See more »


Suvorin: Mr Kelso... I'm totally sick of people like you throwing past in our faces. And I'm sick of people like Mamontov trying to make Gods out of monsters.
See more »

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User Reviews

No match for George Smiley
20 March 2005 | by (Saffron Walden, UK) – See all my reviews

All the old clichés are rolled out early in this adaptation of Robert Harris's spy novel 'Archangel': surly Russians, an arrogant English hero, a garrulous American. There's also a certain amount of expository dialogue: in an early scene, a leading academic makes a speech to a conference in which he makes the dramatic revelation that Stalin was evil. 'Archangel' is certainly no 'Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy', and the thin characterisation makes the early stages tedious to watch. But in the middle, it improves greatly, as a conventional but tautly scripted thriller begins to take shape. Sadly, the ending can't quite deliver on this promise; both because of the risible suggestion that megalomania is an inherited quality, and also because it is surely not (as the film suggests) the worship of Stalin's image that is the real problem in today's Russia, but rather, the social circumstances which make such an absurdity possible. Still, it's always interesting to get a glimpse of the great Russian north on camera, and lead actress Yekaterina Rednikova looks very sexy smoking a cigarette. But overall, this is routine stuff.

33 of 44 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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