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Calamari Union (1985)

Not Rated | | Comedy | 8 February 1985 (Finland)
An exodus to a better life in Eira


Aki Kaurismäki


Aki Kaurismäki


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Timo Eränkö Timo Eränkö ... Frank
Kari Heiskanen Kari Heiskanen ... Frank
Asmo Hurula Asmo Hurula ... Frank
Sakke Järvenpää ... Frank
Sakari Kuosmanen ... Frank Armoton (as Saku Kuosmanen)
Dave Lindholm Dave Lindholm ... Mies rannalla
Mikko Mattila Mikko Mattila ... Frank
Pate Mustajärvi ... Frank
Tuomari Nurmio ... Taksikuski (as Hannu Nurmio)
Pirkka-Pekka Petelius ... Frank
Matti Pellonpää ... Frank
Pertti Sveholm Pertti Sveholm ... Frank
Martti Syrjä ... Frank
Pantse Syrjä Pantse Syrjä ... Frank
Markku Toikka ... Pekka


Fourteen desperate men named Frank, band together to escape from a repressive section of Helsinki. An English-speaking non-Frank named Pekka joins the barroom conspirators, whose avoidance of last names, and any affect, help them outsmart overwhelming forces as they sneak through dark subway tunnels and alleys, hoping against despair to reach magical seaside Eira. The Calamari Unionists take advantage of unending night to venture their intrepid journey. Written by David Stevens

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Plot Keywords:

alley | tunnel | subway | journey | city | See All (23) »




Not Rated | See all certifications »





Finnish | English | Spanish

Release Date:

8 February 1985 (Finland) See more »

Also Known As:

Calamari Union See more »

Filming Locations:

Eira, Helsinki, Finland See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Villealfa Filmproductions See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Near the end of the movie, a character says: "The mother's sure going to forgive us yet." Exactly the same dialogue line is heard in Mika Kaurismäki's film "Klaani", which premiered a few months before this one. See more »


The Director is seen in reflection of Frank's (Sakke Järvenpää) sunglasses in "My friend got sick, can you help us" scene. See more »


[first lines]
Frank: Gentlemen! I don't want to tire you and especially myself by going through those many reasons which make life completely impossible in this part of the city. We all know the circumstances forced on us in our early years: crowded homes, ignorance and hunger. Not to mention the bad air conditioning in the busses with their irregular timetables. In this part of the city there are more hills than anywhere else in the world. Loose-running kids and dogs make it impossible to move in the ...
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Featured in Matka suomalaiseen elokuvaan: Kaupunkiblues (2006) See more »


Symphonie no. 6 h-moll 'Pathétique' / Sinfonia nro 6 h-molli 'Pateettinen sinfonia' op. 74
Composed by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky
Performed by symphony orchestra
See more »

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User Reviews

Simply outstanding : Aki Kaurismaki films a gauche rock band's members seeking their elusive El Dorado in Helsinki.
17 March 2010 | by FilmCriticLalitRaoSee all my reviews

Finnish film "Calamari Union" is not at all a motion picture with a defined setting.It is more of a visual experience with surreal touches which must be seen many times to feel the plight of hapless rock musicians in an urban milieu.In "Calamari Union",there is also a minor battle of sexes to be witnessed as most of the women get their demands met by hapless,vulnerable men.Women are shown as strong willed individuals who would not stop at anything to humiliate, scorn confused men who are treated as mere caddish oafs.Rock music is also one of this film's leading element which reveals the hidden talent of some vagrant musicians.There are some mellifluous tunes which could easily be lapped up by music lovers.No talented film director in the history of modern cinema has come even remotely closer to Finnish author Aki Kaurismaki's vision of urban angst.This is a director who has made an absolutely wise use of his hometown Helsinki and its nocturnal atmosphere by shooting in pristine black and white.He shows why some people are not able to put any order in their utterly disorganized,messy lives.A unique film which is absolutely needed for those nihilists who believe that they are part of existential times.PS:A great film dedicated to Baudelaire,Michaux and Prévert who still hover on earth.Lalit Rao does not care if non Francophones are not aware of Baudelaire,Michaux and Prévert.

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