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The Death of Stalin (2017)

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Follows the Soviet dictator's last days and depicts the chaos of the regime after his death.

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14 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Credited cast:
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Maria Yudina
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Comrade Andryev
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Tarasov
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Vyacheslav Molotov
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Delov
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Mezhnikov
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Sergei
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Musician 1
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Polina Molotova
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Storyline

Follows the Soviet dictator's last days and depicts the chaos of the regime after his death.

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Everybody wants a piece


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

rated R for language throughout, violence and some sexual references | See all certifications »
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Release Date:

20 October 2017 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Stalino mirtis  »

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1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

When the committee first assemble after Stalin's stroke and debate summoning a doctor, the members acknowledge that the best doctors are unavailable as they've been arrested for plotting. This is a reference to the notorious "Doctors' Plot" of 1952-53, in which the increasingly paranoid and anti-Semitic Joseph Stalin did indeed have some of the nation's top physicians (mainly Jewish) arrested on charges of conspiring his death. Four weeks after Stalin's death, the Kremlin announced that the evidence against them was fabricated and released them. See more »

Goofs

Faced with Stalin's imminent death, Svetlana says that she knows "doctors in Stalingrad". Stalingrad is an industrial city far away in Southern Russia. Surely, the writers meant Leningrad (St Petersburg) which would indeed have many distinguished doctors. Svetlana doesn't seem to have spent any time in Stalingrad, so there's no reason to think that she would have known doctors there. See more »

Quotes

Georgy Zhukov: Right, what's a war hero got to do to get some lubrication around here?
See more »

Crazy Credits

Black-and-white photographs of the main characters appear over the end credits, but various figures are airbrushed out, have their faces defaced, or have other people superimposed over them, as per Soviet photos of Trotsky and purge victims. See more »

Connections

Featured in Peston on Sunday: Episode #4.5 (2017) See more »

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User Reviews

Ultimately more chilling than comedic
2 November 2017 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

This is not the film I was expecting. Knowing that it was both written and directed by the British Armando Iannucci who gave us the outrageous delights of "In The Loop", "The Thick of It" and Veep", I thought that I was going to encounter a full-blown, satirical comedy (and the trailer had confirmed this impression), but instead - while there are certainly plenty of laughs from a sharp script - this is an altogether darker work, full of foreboding, terror and casual slaughter, than I was anticipating. It is not just the tone that is off-kilter; the brilliant cast makes no attempt to effect a Russian accent but offers everything from a Yorkshire accent to an unashamedly American one.

Several of the characters (the dictator himself played by Adrian McLoughlin) and his eventual successor Khruschev (Steve Buscemi) are known to everyone, but others - like war hero Zhukov (Jason Isaacs) and spy chief Beria (Simon Russell Beale) - will be less-known and still others - such as Malenkov (Jeffrey Tambor) and Molotov (Michael Palin)

  • will be unfamiliar to many viewers, so you need to be something of an
enthusiast for Soviet history to pick up on all the allusions. And real historians will rightly challenge some of the detail because there are some major errors (although these might rather be deliberate distortions to enhance the plot). Iannucci has moved from contemporary Whitehall and Washington to take us to Moscow in 1953 but, if we were expecting "Carry On Up The Kremlin", we have something much more gut-wrenching and all the more effective.

A few weeks before the release of this film, I was in Georgia and visited Gori, the town near where Stalin was born. The year after Khruschev denounced Stalin, a museum was opened in the town to venerate Stalin's leadership and essentially (and astonishingly) the messaging remains unchanged to this day. Oh, how I wish they could show this chilling movie at that museum.


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