4.7/10
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The Experts (1989)

PG-13 | | Comedy | 13 January 1989 (USA)
Travis and Wendell are kidnapped while on their way to opening a nightclub in rural Nebraska. The KGB spy Cameron Smith takes them to the U.S.S.R. instead with the intention of teaching KGB... See full summary »

Director:

Dave Thomas

Writers:

Steven Greene (story), Eric Alter (story) | 3 more credits »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
John Travolta ... Travis
Arye Gross ... Wendell
Kelly Preston ... Bonnie
Deborah Foreman ... Jill
James Keach ... Yuri
Jan Rubes ... Illyich
Brian Doyle-Murray ... Jones (as Brian Doyle Murray)
Charles Martin Smith ... Mr. Smith
Mimi Maynard Mimi Maynard ... Mrs. Smith
Eve Brent ... Aunt Thelma
Rick Ducommun ... Sparks
Steve Levitt Steve Levitt ... Gil
Tony Edwards ... Nathan
Jack Ammon Jack Ammon ... Doc Benson
Marc Reid Marc Reid ... Billy Smith
Edit

Storyline

Travis and Wendell are kidnapped while on their way to opening a nightclub in rural Nebraska. The KGB spy Cameron Smith takes them to the U.S.S.R. instead with the intention of teaching KGB agents to be hip like Americans. Written by Richard Jones <rjo339@swbell.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

spy | kgb | See All (2) »

Genres:

Comedy

Certificate:

PG-13 | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Canada | USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

13 January 1989 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Los expertos See more »

Filming Locations:

British Columbia, Canada See more »

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Box Office

Gross USA:

$169,203
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

Paramount wanted director Dave Thomas to go back and reshoot some scenes before its limited release in 1989, but in the intervening two years star John Travolta had gained over 30 pounds, which prevented any new scenes being shot. See more »

Goofs

Yuri states the town is about 80 miles from the Sea of Japan. The coordinates he gives (61°N, 130°E) is roughly 195 miles from the Sea of Okhotsk and nearly 1,000 miles from the Sea of Japan. See more »

Quotes

Travis: [about the citizens of Indian Springs] Where are we gonna put them? They can't stay at my place.
See more »

Connections

References The Twilight Zone (1959) See more »

Soundtracks

(They Long To Be) Close To You
By Burt Bacharach & Hal David
Performed by The Carpenters
Courtesy of A&M Records
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Mild pre-Truman Show comedy (spoilers).
28 July 2005 | by vertigo_14See all my reviews

Ever wanted to see John Travolta with a fierce mullet and a bad fashion sense? Check out 'The Experts,' a cold-war influenced, pre-Truman Show comedy that was a good idea, but should've developed into something more.

This is the story of KGB agents who have developed an isolated town which will emulate a sleepy Midwestern American town. The purpose is to fully assimilate it's agents into American culture so that they may go undetected when they infiltrate the states (although some of the residents had been there their whole lives and seemed unlikely of doing anything in the actual America for which it serves as a template). But, sensing that the training ground is out-of-touch with modern America, one of the executives of the agency hires to bumbling New Yorkers to be their guide to what's hip in 1989 America. They lure them to the town under the guise that they're developing a night club and want those two to advise them.

Unaware of what is going on, their "experts" stick out like a sore thumb in the 50's Midwest style neighborhood, before others catch on and emulate the two newcomers' love of dirty dancing, club music, and mass materialism of electronic consumer goods in the same way that the modern teenagers in Pleasantville effected their surroundings. Only, the other agents disapprove of the changes in their people who seem wholly unaware of their artificial surroundings (much like "the experts") and don't want the Experts to stay. Meanwhile, it is only a matter of time before the Experts figure out what is really going on as they tend to rub some of the higher-up executives the wrong way with their presence.

The idea was fun, and deserved a lot more quirkiness and less family-friendly appeal in order to make one of those really funky late 80s comedies that celebrate that modern American city culture. The movie, however, by mid-state tends to drag on in repetition and by the end, becomes completely balled up in corniness as the town becomes chaotic and the filmmakers struggle for a perfect resolution in which American culture prevails over the perceived stuffiness of then-Communist Russia. It is instead a more moderate comedy with some funny moments, but overall is more or less droll. Not that hilarious, not that different. But there is some appeal, especially if you're searching out lost titles of the 80s, no matter how mild they may be.

Worth a shot, if for nothing else, than to see Arye Gross and John Travolta in ridiculous 80s garb.


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