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Red Joan (2018)

2:16 | Trailer
The story of Joan Stanley, who was exposed as the K.G.B.'s longest-serving British spy.


Trevor Nunn


Lindsay Shapero (screenplay), Jennie Rooney (novel)





Cast overview, first billed only:
Judi Dench ... Joan
Nina Sosanya ... Ms Hart
Laurence Spellman ... Mr. Adams
Nicola Sloane ... Joan's Neighbour
Sophie Cookson ... Young Joan
Tereza Srbova ... Sonya
Freddie Gaminara ... William
Raj Swamy Raj Swamy ... Kharak
Tom Hughes ... Leo
Adrian Wheeler ... Heckler
Ben Miles ... Nick
Lulu Meissner ... Waitress
Phill Langhorne ... Uniformed Policeman
Mike Sykes Mike Sykes ... Security Guard
Stephen Campbell Moore ... Max


English-born Joan Stanley (Dame Judi Dench), a Soviet and Communist Party sympathizer, becomes employed as a British government civil servant, and gets recruited by the K.G.B. in the mid 1930s. She successfully transfers nuclear bomb secrets to Soviet Russia, which enables them to keep up with the west in the development of atomic weapons, and remains undetected as a spy for over a half a century. Written by Unknownian

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Inspired by True Events See more »

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for brief sexuality/nudity | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »

Did You Know?


At the end, the closing credits notes the real-life Melita Norwood incident, that "inspired" it: at the end of this movie, from the gaggle of reporters outside of Joan Stanley's (Dame Judi Dench's) home, she is asked "How much money did you get?", and she answers, indignantly, "nothing": this reflects that in real-life, Norwood also stated: "I did what I did, not to make money, but to help prevent the defeat of a system which had at great cost given ordinary people food and fares which they could afford, a good education, and a health service." (New York Times report 13.9.99.) At that time/the setting of the secret passing in post-World War II close, the U.K.'s newly elected Labour (Socialist) government under Prime Minister Clement Attlee (shown and played in this movie by Robin Soans), had introduced its first publicly (taxpayer) funded welfare state. See more »


At around 06:00, the young Joan Stanley is seen wearing dark welding goggles whilst soldering in her Earth Sciences class at Cambridge University. Soldering, unlike welding, produces no damaging light emissions. See more »


Sonya: [Voice over] Behave normally. Don't look nervous. We need files, reports, drawings, diagrams... We should always meet in public places. It's too dangerous to come to my house. For new material, make an extra copy. Don't conceal it. Keep it with the real file until you are ready to bring it to me. If you must hide anything, do it in plain sight. Be prepared to improvise. And if you think you're being followed, go into a ladies' shop. No man will follow you there.
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Referenced in Some Kind of Heaven (2020) See more »


Just Whisper
Written and Performed by Jack Shaindlin
Courtesy of Cinemusic
Published by EMI Production Music
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User Reviews

Nearly very good 👍
20 April 2019 | by jasongkgreenSee all my reviews

Judi was very good of course, but doesn't feature hugely. Film was ok but felt like a missed opportunity. Could have been better. Meandered through an interesting story in a pedestrian manner. Last 10 mins it picked up. 6/10.

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Official Sites:

Embankment Films





Release Date:

19 April 2019 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Red Joan See more »

Filming Locations:

London, England, UK See more »


Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$38,949, 21 April 2019

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

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Company Credits

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Technical Specs




Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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