6.5/10
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Moscow on the Hudson (1984)

When a Russian musician defects in Bloomingdale's department store in New York, he finds adjusting to American life more difficult than he imagined.

Director:

Paul Mazursky

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Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Robin Williams ... Vladimir Ivanoff
Maria Conchita Alonso ... Lucia Lombardo
Cleavant Derricks ... Lionel Witherspoon
Alejandro Rey ... Orlando Ramirez
Saveliy Kramarov ... Boris (as Savely Kramarov)
Elya Baskin ... Anatoly
Oleg Rudnik Oleg Rudnik ... Yury
Aleksandr Benyaminov Aleksandr Benyaminov ... Vladimir's Grandfather (as Alexander Beniaminov)
Lyudmila Kramarevskaya Lyudmila Kramarevskaya ... Vladimir's Mother (as Ludmila Kramarevsky)
Ivo Vrzal-Wiegand Ivo Vrzal-Wiegand ... Vladimir's Father (as Ivo Vrzal)
Natalya Ivanova Natalya Ivanova ... Sasha (as Natalie Iwanow)
Tiger Haynes Tiger Haynes ... Lionel's Grandfather
Eyde Byrde Eyde Byrde ... Lionel's Mother (as Edye Byrde)
Robert MacBeth Robert MacBeth ... Lionel's Stepfather
Donna Ingram-Young Donna Ingram-Young ... Leanne
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Storyline

A Russian circus visits the US. A clown wants to defect, but doesn't have the nerve. His saxophone playing friend however comes to the decision to defect in the middle of Bloomingdales. He is befriended by the black security guard and falls in love with the Italian immigrant from behind the perfume counter. We follow his life as he works his way through the American dream and tries to find work as a musician. Written by Zaphod <aaa@scs.leeds.ac.uk>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Vladimir Ivanoff walks into a department store to buy blue jeans, walks out with a girl friend, an immigration lawyer and a buddy. His life and theirs will never be the same again. See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Romance

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Russian

Release Date:

6 April 1984 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Moscú en Nueva York See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$13,000,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$25,100,000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Color:

Color (Metrocolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The concept for the movie was an idea that director and co-writer Paul Mazursky had been toying with for several years when he decided to call his 'Tempest' (1982) collaborator Leon Capetanos. "We did a lot of research," said Mazursky. "We talked to Russians in Los Angeles and New York, including a Russian musician, and our story began to narrow." Co-writer Leon Capetanos remembered: "We spoke to Russians who had emigrated. We asked them what it was like to go through immigration and discovered that they were overwhelmed by the most minor things like grocery stores, meat markets, the sheer opulence of it." See more »

Goofs

Whenever Vladimir plays the saxophone, he is clearly not playing the music heard (the fingering is off and there doesn't seem to be any particular rhyme or reason to his breathing). See more »

Quotes

french man on bus: [first lines]
french man on bus: Excuse me, sir. Does this bus go to the Lincoln Center?
See more »

Alternate Versions

CBS edited 19 minutes from this film for its 1986 network television premiere. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Murphy Brown: Moscow on the Potomac (1989) See more »

Soundtracks

STARTING OVER
Written by David McHugh
Produced by Chaka Khan and David McHugh
Performed by Chaka Khan
Courtesy of Warner Bros. Records
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Robin Williams: Talented (And Strange)
13 April 2007 | by ccthemovieman-1See all my reviews

Robin Williams became famous, I think, for his stand-up comedy, like his idol Jonathan Winters, but do you realize how many movies this guy has made over the years? He's really become quite a film star and is especially good playing against-type as a criminal or simply as a wacko (see "One Hour Photo?")

Anway, this was an early Robin Williams film in which he plays a Russian musician defecting to the United States. He ("Vladamir Ivanoff") first hides out in a big store in New York City before being taken in as an immigrant by a black guy (can you say PC?) Williams does an outstanding job speaking Russian, by the way, as opposed to most English-speaking actors.

There really isn't much of a plot here, just slices of life, if you will, some of it with the usual Liberal promiscuous (i.e. "I'm a liberated woman and if I stay the night, don't misinterpret that I want to get involved with you," the Italian tells the Russian. I can think of a few more accurate descriptions that the word "liberated.")

All in all, despite the premise and talents of Williams, this was only so-so. It kind of runs out of steam halfway through and it's hard to maintain interest in the final 40 percent of it. Actually, I like Williams better when he plays more serious roles like this although I'm not sure if he himself was ready to play it straight this early in his career. He's just too tempted in this film to produce comedy. He's a talented and very strange guy; this film reflects that.


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