An F.B.I. Agent works to uncover an All-American family as Soviet sleeper Agents, and gets caught up in friendship with their unaware son.


Richard Benjamin


John Hill (screenplay), Bo Goldman (screenplay) | 2 more credits »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Sidney Poitier ... Roy Parmenter
River Phoenix ... Jeff Grant
Richard Jenkins ... Richard Grant
Caroline Kava ... Elizabeth Grant
Richard Bradford ... Konstantin Karpov
Richard Lynch ... Scuba
Loretta Devine ... Verna McLaughlin
Lucy Deakins ... Barbara Kerry
Jerry Hardin ... Brewer
Albert Fortell ... Bunin
Robert Madrid ... Sgt. Leathers (as Robb Madrid)
Ronald Guttman ... Spessky
Jacob Vargas ... Miguel
Roberto Jiménez Roberto Jiménez ... Joaquin
Chez Lister Chez Lister ... Tom


Roy Parmenter is a veteran FBI agent who has spent the last 20 years trying to find the Russian agent who killed his partner whom he calls Scuba. When a couple of deep cover Russian agents are killed Parmenter thinks Scuba is the one doing it. The Russians who have received word from Scuba that if they want him to stop, they have to pay him. So they send a veteran Russian agent, Karpov to stop him. Parmenter was tasked with performing background checks on people applying for certain things requiring security clearance and when he comes across Jeffrey Grant who's applying to the Air Force Academy, he discovers that his parents' info is false. He also learns of Karpov coming into the country and suspects that he is here to stop Scuba and that Karpov went to the city where Jeffrey and his family live, so he decides to keep an eye on Jeffrey and his family. Written by

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


He went to bed an all-American kid and woke up the son of Russian spies.


Drama | Thriller


PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Did You Know?


Intelligence agencies featured in the movie included the F.B.I. and K.G.B. See more »


In an early scene, Parmenter and Grant meet in an office on Air Force Academy grounds. There is a State flag and a United States flag behind Parmenter's desk. The US flag is on the right, it should be on the left. See more »


Verna McLaughlin: Were you troubled at home, Roy?
Roy Parmenter: I had a great home!
Verna McLaughlin: I can't imagine you as a kid...
Roy Parmenter: Oh, I was a wonderful kid.
Verna McLaughlin: What'd your father do?
Roy Parmenter: Cop.
Verna McLaughlin: Good cop or bad cop?
Roy Parmenter: Bad cop... Wouldn't kiss ass. Good father.
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Written by Grace Lane
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User Reviews

A good thriller with some great acting.
22 April 2001 | by marcfantozziSee all my reviews

"Little Nikita" is a good thriller and I found it really enjoyable. I am glad that the lovely Loretta Devine (who played Reese in Urban Legend 1 and 2) had the honour of working with River Phoenix before his death. Sidney Poitier gives a good performance also. I found it highly entertaining and enjoyable. And once again, River Phoenix becomes his character in this taut thriller from Richard Benjamin.

5 of 11 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
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Release Date:

18 March 1988 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Little Nikita See more »


Box Office


$15,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$866,398, 20 March 1988

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Columbia Pictures See more »
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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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