6.1/10
13,775
75 user 41 critic

The Russia House (1990)

Trailer
1:50 | Trailer
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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Did You Know?

Trivia

The nickname, of the MI6 headquarters on the Thames River, in the The Night Manager (2016) mini-series, based also on a John le Carré novel, is "The River House", a phrase which is similar in sound and wording to "The Russia House". See more »

Goofs

When Barley first meets Katya, they're in the big square and he tells her that 3 years ago he was nearly arrested in the same place for suspicion of being a spy. Katya asks "were you?", and Barley replies "of course not" .. He then goes on to explain "a soldier and his girl friend..." followed by a short pause during which Katya smiled satisfactorily, but then Barley continues to explain "..asked me to take a photo of them."! Katya should have waited until Barley finished the whole sentence before smiling (laughing) with satisfaction. See more »

Quotes

[talking about Western relations with Russia]
Barley: Aren't we supposed to be such good friends now?
Ned: [sarcastically] Oh, my dear lord...
Walter: Because this year it suits them to roll over on their backs and play nice doggie? Because this year they're on the floor anyway? You ninny! All the more reason to spy the living daylights out of them. Kick them in the balls every time they get to their knees.
See more »

Connections

References Breathless (1960) 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
See more »

User Reviews

 
a romance pretending to be a thriller
19 March 1999 | by hbsSee all my reviews

Maybe I was just in the right mood, but I found this an effective romance. Michelle Pfieffer was even better than her usual terrific self, and the rest of the excellent cast was, well, excellent. It is pretty slow, but I think that this is essential to the conclusion, which I found quite moving. You have to give this movie a chance to grow on you, but if you are patient it is quite accessible. Not bleak at all, as you'd expect from Le Carre.


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Frequently Asked Questions

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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

Budget:

$21,800,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$4,435,650, 25 December 1990

Gross USA:

$22,997,992

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$22,997,992
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

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