A Russian saxophonist visiting New York with a circus troupe suddenly decides to defect from the USSR during a shopping trip to a department store, but he finds adjusting to American life more difficult than he imagined.

Director:

Paul Mazursky
2 nominations. 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 ... 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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Did You Know?

Trivia

Taking great care to create a feeling of reality and authenticity in the film, director Paul Mazursky set about finding the rest of his cast after the principals had been found. Through casting agents and then through Russian newspapers in New York and Munich, where all of the Moscow scenes were shot, Russian actors and actresses were found to fill the roles of Vladimir's family, the KGB, the Moscow circus performers, and extras and background artists. Nearly all of them became United States citizens who came to the US during the detente of the Carter Administration of Democratic President Jimmy Carter. See more »

Goofs

Orlando and Vladimir's "Korean Cab Driver" speaks in Japanese after Orlando berates him for missing a turn. ("Gaijin urusai! Monku, monku!" - "Annoying foreigner! Complain! Complain!") See more »

Quotes

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

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

Connections

References Star Trek: The Original Series (1966) See more »

Soundtracks

BLUE TOWNS
Composed by Andrey Petrov
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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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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Russian

Release Date:

6 April 1984 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Moscow on the Hudson See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$13,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$3,536,687, 8 April 1984

Gross USA:

$25,068,724

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$25,068,724
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Stereo

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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