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The Russia House (1990)

Trailer
1:50 | Trailer
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)
Reviews
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

Budget:

$21,800,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$4,435,650, 25 December 1990

Gross USA:

$22,997,992

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$22,997,992
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

Mike Nichols was once attached as director. During his tenure, playwright Tom Stoppard was brought into do the screenplay. See more »

Goofs

During Blair's "start the avalanche" speech, Dante is seen at the end of the table. As the camera pans around the table during the speech, Dante disappears from the end of the table, and then reappears. See more »

Quotes

[Russell produces a stack of reports on the analysis of Dante's material]
Clive: And is there a conclusion?
Russell: Clive, there is a conclusion: drop it down the toilet.
Ned: And is that what you think, Russell?
Russell: Well, expert opinion has that this notebook was written very quickly... or very slowly. By a man, or a woman. The writer was right-handed, or he was left-handed. What I think? For "experts," there's no toilet deep enough.
See more »

Connections

Featured in Omnibus: Inside the Russia House (1991) See more »

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

 
Slow Pacing - James Bond This Is Not
19 December 1999 | by gbheronSee all my reviews

Interesting adaptation of John Le Carre's spy novel. As with Mr. Le Carre's writing the movie is slow and deliberately paced, letting the plot slowly sink in, and not explode in your face. The casting is dead-on with a frumpy Connery playing a middle-aged British book publisher whose love of Russia draws him in to a very high-stakes espionage caper at the end of the Cold War. Michelle Pfeiffer is also well cast as Katya, his Russian counterpart, i.e., a non-professional also drawn into the spy game. The movie does have a problem in moving the plot along through the all-to-frequent scenes of guys sitting around talking about espionage stuff. But if you like this kind of slow-paced, heavily romantic, thinking man's thriller then give this movie a try.


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