The Russia House (1990)


“You live in a free society; you have no choice.” – Walter

Number of Times Seen – 1 (8 Mar 2018)

Brief Synopsis – A literary publisher is recruiting by the British Government after being contacted by a Soviet scientist during the final days of the Cold War.

My Take on it – As a fan of both Sean Connery and Michelle Pfeiffer films, I was looking forward to finally seeing this movie.

Unfortunately it’s quite underwhelming and that was quite disappointing.

Neither Connery nor Pfeiffer is great here and they are completely mismatched as a couple.

There is no chemistry between them and that could have a lot to do with the vast age difference between them… or not.

This is not a conventional spy thriller but it moves way too slowly to keep the viewer’s interest piqued throughout.

This was probably a more enjoyable film and novel if one was to have taken it in nearly thirty years ago during the waning years of the Cold War.

It doesn’t age well at all.

This film does have an impressive supporting cast and James Fox, John Mahoney and Roy Scheider all stand out.

Bottom Line – Not as interesting as I would have hoped it would be. Connery and Pfeiffer are mismatched here and they have no chemistry together what so ever.  This is not a conventional spy film but it moves way too slowly and it’s easy to lose interest along the way. It was probably more interesting to read the novel or see the film at the end of the Cold War but it just doesn’t hold up nearly thirty years later. Impressive supporting cast helps make this a bit more interesting but overall, this film is quite mediocre.

MovieRob’s Favorite Trivia – Michelle Pfeiffer held up filming in Moscow, when she discovered a rule forbidding Western film companies from feeding the Soviet extras they hire, so she stomped off and refused to come back unless they were fed. To resolve the crisis, officials from the Soviet film commission had to be called in. Begging her to return to work, they explained that this was just the way things were done. In an interview with Esquire Magazine at the time of the film’s release, Pfeiffer commented on the incident. “In a country where you can’t get food, where you can’t get soap, here they were watching us shoveling down these platefuls of hot, steamy spaghetti. I didn’t sleep that night. It was very traumatic. Then I realized, You know, this is so typically American of you. This is what, as a country, we’re accused of all the time. Now, whether I was right or wrong isn’t the issue. The issue was, Do I have the right, as an outsider, to come in and force my sensibilities on this culture? At a certain point, I decided to leave my identity at the border. I thought to myself, Okay, you have no identity. And at that point I was able to experience the country as it was, on a purer level, and finally to even embrace it.”  (From IMDB)

Rating – BAFTA Worthy (5/10)

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One thought on “The Russia House (1990)

  1. Pingback: Temporal Top Ten – 1990 |

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