40 user 8 critic

Archangel (2005)

A British college professor, working in Russia, investigates certain mysteries surrounding the life and death of Joseph Stalin.


Jon Jones


Robert Harris (novel), Dick Clement (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
3,505 ( 27)

On Disc

at Amazon




Cast overview, first billed only:
Daniel Craig ... Prof. Fluke Kelso
Yekaterina Rednikova ... Zinaida Rapava
Gabriel Macht ... R.J. O'Brian
Lev Prygunov ... Vladimir Mamantov
Alexey Diakov ... Suvorin
Harry Ditson ... Frank Adelman
Tanya Moodie ... Velma
Avtandil Makharadze ... Josef Stalin
Anna Gerasimova Anna Gerasimova ... Anna
Claudia Harrison ... Louise
Kaspars Zvigulis Kaspars Zvigulis ... Young Papu Rapava
Valery Chernyak Valery Chernyak ... Old Papu Rapava
Aurelija Anuzhite Aurelija Anuzhite ... Olga
Ziedonis Lochmelis Ziedonis Lochmelis ... Viktor
Jakov Rafalson Jakov Rafalson ... Moscow Official (as Yakov Rafalson)


Set in contemporary Moscow and the frozen northern town of Archangel, the drama revisits the stark landscape of Communist Russia and takes place over four days in the life of academic Fluke Kelso. His fateful meeting with a former Stalinist bodyguard leads to the uncovering of one of the world's most dangerous and best kept secrets. He is led unwittingly through murder and intrigue towards his own personal "Holy Grail" - Joseph Stalin's secret legacy - a legacy that could change the face of Russian history forever. Written by Christopher Hall

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Parents Guide:

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Official Sites:





English | Russian

Release Date:

5 January 2006 (Estonia) See more »

Also Known As:

Arcángel See more »

Filming Locations:

Hotel Ukraina, Moscow, Russia See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


(2 parts)

Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


Stalin had two sons, one of whom, Yakov, died in German captivity during the war, the other, Vasilii died of alcoholism in 1962. Yakov's son Evgenii has tried to carry the family torch, much as "Joseph" in the film, with little success. The conceit of the film might be based on the discovery in 2001 of another Stalin grandson, whose father was conceived during Stalin's exile in Siberia before the revolution. See more »


After Kelso is released from the police station he is given a ride by the Russian intelligence. You can clearly see that he is getting into black BMW 5 series (e-39) but in the next shot he is getting out from a black BMW 7 series (e-38). See more »


Suvorin: I am totally sick of people like you, throwing past in our faces. And I'm sick of people like Mamantov, trying to make gods out of monsters.
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User Reviews

Disappointing Thriller
20 March 2005 | by Theo RobertsonSee all my reviews

With the exception of the new series of DOCTOR WHO , this has got to be the most publicised BBC serial of the year , and with good reason I guess since Robert Harris is a popular and acclaimed novelist whose books make very informative reading

!!!! SPOILERS !!!!

However watching ARCHANGEL it becomes very obvious that his novels work as informative and very well researched novels only suited to the printed page to make them anyway successful . The FATHERLAND TVM set in a Nazi dominated world of the 1960s is hated by fans of the novel , while ENIGMA doesn't really lend itself to the way the movie was marketed and it's the same with this BBC miniseries

Is the Russian tundra a good location for a thriller ? There's a limit to how much the human eye can take before it starts suffering from snow blindness , in fact the cold snowy landscape depressed this viewer more than anything else . Oh and because of the plot we treated to lots of simplified ex positional dialogue for the benefit of a mass audience who don't know the first thing about Uncle Joe Stalin . Exposition in a book is one thing because you can dedicate many pages of characters thought process , but watching it on a television screen means the characters and dialogue come off as unnatural

But ironically it's Harris's plot where everything comes apart - Stalin had a son who no one knows about and is trying to force the new Russia into communist dictatorship again. Sorry I don't buy that due to the gaps in logic . Communism wasn't founded under Stalin nor did it end with the death of Stalin so why the big deal about new communism on the march ? And why would killing Stalin Jnr signal the end of a potential communist era ?

The flaws with this political thriller are the same as the ones of Ira Levin's novel about Hitler being cloned . They are somewhat ridiculous plots but are so well written that the reader won't notice these flaws . Watching it played out on screen is a different matter

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