Moscow, 1953. After being in power for nearly thirty years, Soviet dictator Joseph Vissarionovich Stalin (Adrian McLoughlin) takes ill and quickly dies. Now the members of the Council of Ministers scramble for power.
In early-1953 Moscow, under the Great Terror's heavy cloak of state paranoia, the ever-watchful Soviet leader, Joseph Stalin, collapses, unexpectedly, of a brain haemorrhage. As a result, when someone discovers his body the following morning, a frenetic surge of raw panic starts spreading like a virus amongst the senior members of the Council of Ministers, as they scramble to maintain order, weed out the competition, and, ultimately, take power. But, in the middle of a gut-wrenching roller-coaster of incessant plotting, tireless machinations, and frail allegiances, absolutely no one is safe; not even the feared chief of the secret police, Lavrenti Beria. In the end, who will prevail after the death of Stalin?Written by
When Joseph Stalin collapses from a stroke, one guard, hearing his collapse from outside, asks if they should investigate. The other guard replies that he should shut up before Stalin kills both of them for entering without permission. Stalin left explicit standing orders not to disturb him while he was sleeping under any circumstances, with disobedience punishable by death. It's one reason why no one tried to investigate when he didn't wake up at his usual time. See more »
When they carry Stalin's body, it should have rigor mortis. See more »
My father's going to die. I'm going to have you to look after me. I mean, I may as well just shoot myself like Mother.
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Black-and-white photographs of the main characters appear over the end credits, but various figures are airbrushed out, have their faces defaced, or have other people superimposed over them, as per Soviet photos of Trotsky and purge victims. See more »
The Death of Stalin is one of those films you will either love or just not get at all. Being someone with a big interest in Politics, and an interest in the events of the Soviet Union this was always going to be must watch.
The material itself is almost frightening, some pretty horrific real life events happening, but performed in a way that you can't help but laugh at, albeit sometimes with a little dread.
Superbly written as you'd expect by Armando Iannucci, if anyone knows political satire it's him! Steve Buscemi and Simon Russell Beale shine particularly.
It's one of those films I want to see again. 9/10
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