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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)
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:

He took a chance because he had nothing to lose, she took a chance because she had everything to gain. 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

Naomie Harris, who plays Miss Eve Moneypenny in the James Bond films, became the sixth major actor or actress who has starred in movies based on works of John le Carré and Ian Fleming, famous spy novelists. Harris' role as Gail Perkins in Our Kind of Traitor (2016), follows her two previous appearances in Bond movies, in Skyfall (2012) and Spectre (2015). Pierce Brosnan and Sean Connery have previously portrayed James Bond on screen, and have starred in le Carré adaptations, they being The Tailor of Panama (2001) and The Russia House (1990) respectively, the latter which has a title that evokes Fleming's From Russia with Love (1963) which starred Connery as Bond. Never Say Never Again (1983), co-starred Klaus Maria Brandauer, who also appeared in The Russia House (1990). Alas, Connery and Brandauer have starred in the same two Bond and le Carré spy movies. Moreover, Harris and Brosnan both appeared in After the Sunset (2004). The first actor to portray M in the Bond films, Bernard Lee, was the first actor to do Bond and le Carré. Lee appeared as Patmore in The Spy Who Came in from the Cold (1965), which was the first filmed adaptation of a le Carré novel. The Constant Gardener (2005) starred Ralph Fiennes, who played Justin Quayle, and has portrayed the Bond franchise's M character in Skyfall (2012) and Spectre (2015), as has Harris played Eve Moneypenny in the two. Rachel Weisz, the wife of Daniel Craig, previously starred as Tessa Quayle in The Constant Gardener (2005), for which she won a Best Actress in a Supporting Role Academy Award, with Wiesz and Fiennes playing husband and wife in that movie. See more »

Goofs

Near the end of the movie, at the American control center, when an assistant hands Ned a cup of coffee, he tips it enough that you can see the cup is empty. See more »

Quotes

Bartholomew "Barley" Scott Blair: You have to think like a hero merely to behave like a decent human being.
See more »


Soundtracks

The Sheik Of Araby
Written by Ted Snyder (as T. Snyder), Francis Wheeler (as F. Wheeler) & Harry B. Smith (as H. B. Smith)
Published by Bienstock Publishing Co. & Filmtrax
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
An amazing film
1 February 2004 | by cinegnosticSee all my reviews

This is a movie that will overwhelm you, if you let it. If you are interested in nonstop action, look somewhere else. If you are looking for a nice, linear story line, look somewhere else. If, on the other hand, you are looking for a complex story set at the sunset of Soviet Russia, with an incomparable musical score and believable characters you can accept as the real thing, rent or buy this movie. Sean Connery does a wonderful job as a worldly and inebrieated man confronting true love, and all it ramifications, for once in his life. Michelle Pfeiffer is a beautiful, but tired, mother of two who doesn't have the time for love without meaning. Behind the scenes, the interplay between American and British intelligence is priceless. Lastly, the score is wonderful. If you can't bring yourself to watch the film, at least buy the CD of the soundtrack. This is top shelf stuff. You will not be disappointed.


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