7.3/10
124
4 user 1 critic

The Defection of Simas Kudirka (1978)

Based on the true story of the attempted defection in 1970 by a Lithuanian seaman seeking political asylum in the United States. Kudirka was denied asylum and returned to the Soviets, ... See full summary »

Director:

David Lowell Rich

Writer:

Bruce Feldman
Reviews
Won 2 Primetime Emmys. Another 1 win & 3 nominations. See more awards »

Photos

Add Image Add an image

Do you have any images for this title?

Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Alan Arkin ... Simas Kudirka
Richard Jordan ... Commander Edward Devon
Donald Pleasence ... Captain Vladimir Popov
George Dzundza ... Gruzauskas
John McMartin ... Phillip Chadway
Shirley Knight ... Genna Kudirka
Marvin Silbersher Marvin Silbersher ... Commander Burkalis
Peter Evans Peter Evans ... Mott
Ted Shackelford ... Blain
Barton Heyman ... Dr. Paegle
Jack Blessing ... Kabek
Nicholas Guest ... Baltrunar
Matthew Arkin ... Petras
Salem Ludwig Salem Ludwig ... Assistant Supervisor
Donald Warnock Donald Warnock ... Stender (as Don Warnock Jr.)
Learn more

More Like This 

The Other Side of Hell (TV Movie 1978)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

A disturbed, but highly intelligent man is sent to a criminally insane hospital to serve time and rehabilitate. But when he arrives, he discovers it's in fact a closed world where brutality is an everyday occurrence.

Director: Ján Kadár
Stars: Alan Arkin, Roger E. Mosley, Morgan Woodward
Simon (1980)
Comedy | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

A group of scientist take Simon, a psychology professor, as a test person for a brainwash experiment. After that they try to convince him that he was a living-being from another planet.

Director: Marshall Brickman
Stars: Alan Arkin, Madeline Kahn, Austin Pendleton
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

A couple fights for justice to get their injured daughter out of a foster care center.

Director: Eric Till
Stars: Alan Arkin, Mariette Hartley, Monica Parker
Western | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

Lewis Tater writes Wild West dime novels and dreams of actually becoming a cowboy. When he goes west to find his dream, he finds himself in possession of the loot box of two crooks who ... See full summary »

Director: Howard Zieff
Stars: Jeff Bridges, Andy Griffith, Donald Pleasence
The Monitors (1969)
Comedy | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.8/10 X  

Earthlings chafe at the peace established by a benevolent alien race and set about to rebel.

Director: Jack Shea
Stars: Guy Stockwell, Susan Oliver, Larry Storch
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

A beautiful woman kidnaps a random family man at gunpoint ("for kicks"), drives him to a secluded spot, orders his to strip naked, and then rapes him in the back seat of her car, before ... See full summary »

Director: Cy Howard
Stars: Paul Sorvino, Michael Learned, Bob Dishy
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

A middle aged restaurateur begins to feel the desire to roam and realizes that one day each week, his mother's apartment will be empty all afternoon. He makes several attempts at seduction,... See full summary »

Director: Gene Saks
Stars: Alan Arkin, Sally Kellerman, Paula Prentiss
Popi (1969)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Abraham is a Puerto Rican single parent with two boys. He is becoming very worried about them living in their run down neighborhood when one day he notices that Cubans who escape are ... See full summary »

Director: Arthur Hiller
Stars: Alan Arkin, Rita Moreno, Reuben Figueroa
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  

Yasha is a Jewish stage magician who tours through eastern Europe while destroying his career through personal problems. He has one more chance at theatrical success, but he needs to do a brand new trick in a Warsaw theater.

Director: Menahem Golan
Stars: Alan Arkin, Louise Fletcher, Valerie Perrine
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

Hapless driving instructor and former Gunnery Sergeant Rafferty, living in squalor near Hollywood, California, doesn't put up too much of a fight when two ladies hitch a ride and attempt to... See full summary »

Director: Dick Richards
Stars: Alan Arkin, Sally Kellerman, Mackenzie Phillips
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.4/10 X  

The story of a long-distance trucker and his experiences on the road.

Director: Vernon Zimmerman
Stars: Donna Anderson, Alan Arkin, Madison Arnold
Fire Sale (1977)
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.5/10 X  

Benny and his wife Ruthie a getting set to drive down to Florida, but Benny needs someone to look after his store while he's gone. Though he doesn't think much of him, Benny hands the ... See full summary »

Director: Alan Arkin
Stars: Alan Arkin, Rob Reiner, Vincent Gardenia
Edit

Storyline

Based on the true story of the attempted defection in 1970 by a Lithuanian seaman seeking political asylum in the United States. Kudirka was denied asylum and returned to the Soviets, charged with treason, and sentenced to ten years of hard labor. It was later discovered and verified that his mother had been born in Brooklyn and gone to Lithuania at a young age, which meant she was a U. S. citizen. As a result, Kudirka was declared a U. S. citizen and in 1974 released by the Soviets. Written by Steve Bulota

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

character name in title | See All (1) »

Genres:

Drama

Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

When actor Larkin plays with his family he talks English for American audiences, but when he is asked by the ship captain to talk English, as a Lituanian - Russian he says that he barely talks English. See more »

Goofs

During Mr. Chadway's yelling in his officer of what has happened, for over five seconds, we can see what appears to be the boom mic hanging just in frame overhead. A couple minutes later when letting some guests in, on the left, upward, we can see what appears to be another piece of filming equipment. See more »

Quotes

Prosecutor: In the spring of 1963 while you were working on the Sovetskaya Litva, is it not true you monitored foreign broadcasts of propaganda and fed them through the ship's speaker system?
Simas Kudirka: Music.
[quietly]
Prosecutor: Speak up, please! Do you admit to this act?
Simas Kudirka: Rock and roll music.
Prosecutor: I can't hear you!
Simas Kudirka: What difference does it make?
Lithuanian Court Judge: The defendant will speak louder.
Simas Kudirka: What difference does it make!
[yelling and standing up]
[...]
See more »

User Reviews

 
Production Trivia
21 January 2013 | by thermosolveSee all my reviews

The Russian fishing trawler portrayed in the film was Maine Maritime Academy's training vessel - the 'TV State of Maine' (formerly USNS Upshur). Several midshipmen from the Class of 1978 were used as extras, the filming being done during the spring training cruise. As a freshman, I was not eligible for a paid part, but did make it into the film by standing under the #6 lifeboat during a passing shot of the ship. I am barely distinguishable, but at least I know that it's me!

"Converting" the ship was done with some basic props, including cardboard signs inscribed in Russian glued over the standard English nameplates (e.g., for the radio room). I believe the trawler's name was done on canvas and somehow tied off to the hull.

Simas Kudirka's leap from the trawler to the cutter was of course performed by a stunt double, and resulted in a hard landing from a considerable height. The actor lay motionless for awhile, presumably to gather himself, before moving again. Of course, the final cut shows him jumping up immediately as if it was no big deal.

Fascinating experience for a kid to see. I wish I could find a copy of the movie.


0 of 0 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 4 user reviews »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
Edit

Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

23 January 1978 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

La deserción de Simas Kudirka See more »

Filming Locations:

New Castle, New Hampshire, USA See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

Contribute to This Page



Recently Viewed