The Russia House (1990) - Plot Summary Poster


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

  • 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.


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  • A Soviet physicist, played by Brandauer, weary of the damage the Cold War was doing to his country and the world, wants to secretly broadcast to the West the greatly weakened state of the Soviet Union during the 1980s - his message to a British publisher (Connery) sent via Pfeiffer, is intercepted by British intelligence, who then attempt to use (in conjunction with the CIA) the publisher to contact the Soviet physicist for their own agenda. Inevitably the Soviets catch on and the physicist is tortured to death, the publisher ends up betraying both sides (East and West) in order to uphold higher values - love of one's fellow man (and woman...)

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