6.1/10
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72 user 37 critic

The Russia House (1990)

Trailer
1:34 | 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 »


Certificate:

16 | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

MGM

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Russian

Release Date:

22 February 1991 (Netherlands) See more »

Also Known As:

La casa Rusia See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$21,800,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$4,435,650, 25 December 1990, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$22,998,000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The book is the twelfth novel written by John le Carré. 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

Bartholomew "Barley" Scott Blair: Smile, you must smile: they're watching us, your side and my side. We're going to beat them both. I can't save Yakov, nothing can; but you're safe, the children are safe, uncle Matvey's safe. I love you and I won't let you down.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Spooks: Episode #2.1 (2003) See more »

Soundtracks

Ain't Misbehavin'
Written by Fats Waller (as Thomas "Fats" Waller), Harry Brooks & Andy Razaf
Published by Bienstock Publishing Co. & Filmtrax
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

A surprisingly non-cynical Le Carre story
18 June 2004 | by TroopieSee all my reviews

As a great admirer of John Le Carre, I watched this film with high expectations & although the story wasn't the usual Le Carre (such as 'The Spy Who Came In From The Cold'), I enjoyed it immensely. It is a combination of a good old-fashioned romance & a look at what happens when an ordinary man is brought into the world of espionage. Connery is very good as the boozy, world-weary publisher who considers personal relationships more important than Cold War one-upmanship. Michelle Pfeiffer, apart from being very pleasing to the eye as usual, was also pretty believable as the Russian trying to do the right thing. What's more, Klaus Maria Brandauer deserves an honourable mention as well. OK, the plot is complicated & sometimes hard to follow, as are most of Le Carre's works (& also, doubtless, the real world of espionage), but it is worth the effort. If you are seeking a simple good guy beats bad guy film, then don't watch this or any other realistic spy film. If, however, you want a story that manages to combine cynicism & romance, I recommend this one.


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