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The Russia House (1990)

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An expatriate British publisher unexpectedly finds himself working for British intelligence to investigate people in Russia.

Director:

Fred Schepisi

Writers:

John le Carré (novel), Tom Stoppard (screenplay)
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Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 4 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Sean Connery ... Barley
Michelle Pfeiffer ... Katya
Roy Scheider ... Russell
James Fox ... Ned
John Mahoney ... Brady
Michael Kitchen ... Clive
J.T. Walsh ... Quinn
Ken Russell ... Walter
David Threlfall ... Wicklow
Klaus Maria Brandauer ... Dante
Mac McDonald ... Bob
Nicholas Woodeson ... Niki Landau
Martin Clunes ... Brock
Ian McNeice ... Merrydew (as Ian McNiece)
Colin Stinton ... Henziger
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Storyline

Three notebooks supposedly containing Russian military secrets are handed to a British publisher during a Russian book conference. The British secret service are naturally keen to learn if these notebooks are the genuine article. To this end, they enlist the help of the scruffy British publisher Barley Blair, who has plenty of experience with Russia and Russians. Barley, an unconventional character who doesn't respond well to authority, finds himself in a game more complex than he first thought when he digs into the origin of the notebooks. Written by Murray Chapman <muzzle@cs.uq.oz.au>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

From John Le Carre's Best-Selling Thriller See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

MGM

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Russian

Release Date:

21 December 1990 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

John le Carré's The Russia House See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$4,435,650, 25 December 1990, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$22,998,000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Second consecutive Russia-related movie for Sean Connery, whose previous picture was The Hunt for Red October (1990). See more »

Goofs

When Barley first meets Katya, they're in the big square and he tells her that 3 years ago he was nearly arrested in the same place for suspicion of being a spy. Katya asks "were you?", and Barley replies "of course not" .. He then goes on to explain "a soldier and his girl friend..." followed by a short pause during which Katya smiled satisfactorily, but then Barley continues to explain "..asked me to take a photo of them."! Katya should have waited until Barley finished the whole sentence before smiling (laughing) with satisfaction. See more »

Quotes

Russell: Mr. Blair, we are buying a Picasso, ok? You don't mind an occasional metaphor now and then, do you?
Bartholomew "Barley" Scott Blair: Not at all.
Russell: Good. Some people don't like my metaphors; I don't know why, but... Anyway, everyone in this room is buying the same Picasso. It's very rare... medium rare... well done, what the fuck! The bottom line question is: did Picasso paint it? And you're the man who is selling it to us?
Bartholomew "Barley" Scott Blair: It is not my Picasso, Russell, it is not my Picasso. And I'm not saying it is a Picasso. And, furthermore, ...
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Soundtracks

Ain't Misbehavin'
Written by Fats Waller (as Thomas "Fats" Waller), Harry Brooks & Andy Razaf
Published by Bienstock Publishing Co. & Filmtrax
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
The first and best western film to come from Soviet Russia
7 March 2005 | by housejkSee all my reviews

The Russia House is an amazing movie. It captures the majesty of Russia in visits to Moscow and St. Petersburg (Leningrad) as well as the crumbling Soviet state. The first western movie filmed in the Soviet Union, The Russia House is better defined as a love story than as a spy thriller. Do not be concerned however, spy fans. There is plenty of intrigue to be had in this beautiful movie. The interplay between Sean Connery, Roy Scheider and J.T. Walsh in a scene from Vancouver, British Columbia alone is worth the price of admission. However, the true star of this understated romance is James Fox, who plays the British contact for Connery's Scott Blair and the foil for the CIA's Scheider character in such gentlemanly fashion as to make the audience believe the true Bond-style gentleman-spy really does exist in this world. From the beautiful scenery to perhaps the best and most haunting soundtrack of any movie--ever (reviews abound--just look them up, friends--easily the great Jerry Goldsmith's finest work), the Russia House is a truly mysterious and romantic movie.


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