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The Inner Circle (1991)

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The true story of Ivan Sanchin, the KGB officer who was Stalin's private film projectionist from 1939 until the dictator's death. Told from Sanchin's view, the sympathetic but tragically ... See full summary »


Andrey Konchalovskiy (as Andrei Konchalovsky)


Andrey Konchalovskiy (as Andrei Konchalovsky), Anatoliy Usov
12 nominations. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Tom Hulce ... Ivan Sanshin
Lolita Davidovich ... Anastasia
Bob Hoskins ... Beria
Aleksandr Zbruev ... Stalin
Feodor Chaliapin Jr. ... Prof. Bartnev
Bess Meyer ... Katya (16 years)
Mariya Baranova Mariya Baranova ... Katya (10 years)
Irina Kupchenko ... Directress
Vladimir Kuleshov ... Colonel Schelkasov
Vsevolod Larionov ... General Rumiantsev
Aleksandr Filippenko ... Major Khitrov
Evdokiya Germanova ... Governess
Lyubov Matyushina Lyubov Matyushina ... Sonia Gubelman
Aleksandr Garin Aleksandr Garin ... Vasily Morda
Mariya Vinogradova ... Fedosia


The true story of Ivan Sanchin, the KGB officer who was Stalin's private film projectionist from 1939 until the dictator's death. Told from Sanchin's view, the sympathetic but tragically flawed hero maintains unwavering faith in his "Master" despite the arrest of his neighbors and his involvement with their daughter, his wife's affair with the chilling State Security chief Lavrentii Beria and her tragic decline, and the deadly political machinations within the Kremlin he witnesses firsthand. Written by Martin H. Booda <booda@datasync.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


PG-13 | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


While in Russia, Tom Hulce met with Alexander Ganshin (upon whose life the film was based) to better learn what it was like to work for Stalin. See more »


When Anastasia asks directress, if the Pokrov town located to the south of Moscow, she (maybe intentionally) answers 'Yes'. In reality, Pokrov is located to the east of Moscow. See more »


Beria: You will not drink to Comrade Stalin?
See more »


Features The Great Waltz (1938) See more »

User Reviews

another brilliant realization of the theme of "little man"
8 November 1999 | by FFCSee all my reviews

There is a human tragedy of global scale - and those humans who sway this tragedy and who just turned out to be grains of sand under those wheels of history. To model what those people were in their good and weak producers and authors of "The Inner Circle" made an awesome cast in this movie - don't you agree that Bob Hoskins playing marshal Berija is worth seeing anyway. Lolita Davidovich's and great Russian actor Oleg Tabakov's was magnificent performance. And at last the central character - Ivan Sanshin - is utterly shrill figure and utterly potent message. Due to genius Tom Hulce who looks and acts completely and very naturally Russian - as I see it being Russian myself. No further words on Tom Hulce - he's just a great actor (though not a "star" in the industry, as I can guess) and every one of his works worth seeing. Even in his small role in "Parenthood" he's very convincing and dramatic - and in "The Inner Circle" he has a great material to work on... An obvious merit of this film - it is historically accurate (with exception of ahead-of-time tanks and probably something else) in details. Accurate Soviet uniforms in a Western movie is really very rare thing and in this film uniform of NKVD-officers looks authentic to the Soviet people like me... And the director's job is not bad at all - Konchalovsky has his peaks and faults and The Inner Circle is one of the peaks, I guess...

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Italy | Soviet Union | USA



Release Date:

25 December 1991 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Projectionist See more »

Filming Locations:

Russia See more »


Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$36,782, 29 December 1991

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Dolby Stereo

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

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