The Russia House

Alcoholic book editor from a bargain-basement publishing house in Great Britain, “Barley” Scott Blair (Sean Connery), would rather be drinking in Lisbon than attending a book dealers’ show in Russia. To his surprise his boozy holiday ends early when CIA agent (Mac McDonald) pays him a visit. It seems that through a book show intermediary the CIA has received a package from Russian book editor Katya (Michelle Pfeiffer) that contains remarkably detailed notebooks written by a cynical Russian physicist named “Dante” (Klaus-Maria Brandauer). The notebooks illustrate the jocularity of Russia’s nuclear threat: Russian rockets “suck instead of blow…and can’t hit Nevada on a clear day,” in the harsh words of CIA Agent Russell Sheridan (Roy Scheider). Unsure of Dante’s motives in sending the notebooks to Blair and questionable about the end of the nuclear arms race the British Secret Service decides to send Blair to new Russia to meet Katya. His objectives: to assess new Russia’s involvements in the old Cold War and to verify the authenticity of the notebooks.


44 thoughts on “The Russia House

  1. Great flick. Loved the music. I don't understand why the film budget and the gross weren't far apart. Did it cost so much on location? Anyway, got to see a lot of those cities. And remembered my trip several years before glasnost. Now it seems Russia is back to the bad old days, with a KGB man at the top of the government.

  2. Awesome movie, that line at the end where the British Intelligence Agent ask Sean Connery "Are you still backing your new Russia Bobby? Well we'll see…". Now 30 years later as the new government of this 'new Russia' attempts to rebuild the Soviet Union, minus the communism of course. But it could be said that hawkish western decision makers (like some of the characters we see in this movie) are what created Putin. The expansion of NATO to former Warsaw Pact countries, and then to the former Soviet Republics themselves. I think the Russians at the time in the 1990 thought if the Warsaw Pact was dismantled then so would NATO which wouldn't need to exist anymore and they we sadly incorrect. So maybe we helped create this "new Russia" just liked we helped bring down the USSR? Food for thought

  3. I am surprised Sir Sean Connery agreed to participate in this movie; it is definitely not one of his best. Forgettable, as a matter of fact. Most comments disagree, I see. But I will not change my appraisal.

  4. James Bond made Sean Connery famous, but his later movies made him great, in my opinion. Not everything, but movies like The Russia House, Medicine Man, The Hunt for Red October, Finding Forrester, The Rock, etc. all showcased his talent as an actor, which is really what he wanted all along. It's funny here though at 26:30 where Ned is teaching Barley spycraft. If Connery was in the mood when they were making this movie, he could have horsed around and said, "Listen boy, I was a spy saving the world while you were still in grade school!"

  5. I have watched it 9 times in 2 weeks; I will watch it again, I'm sure. The beauty of what was photographed and how it was photographed; and the music , not to mention the cast……..

  6. This movie captures Russia during this period very well as it cracked the door open to the West. Too bad we proceeded to loot the "New Russia" via Yeltsin and install the oligarchs who now prop up Putin. Sad, because the Russian people are smart, compassionate and yearning for greater freedom from the thugs that rule them. I guess we now have the same problem!

  7. Sean is always exceptional including Michelle daring charming personality. They both did excellent in their acting. Respecting governments within borders and outside means tactics are necessary. Objectively and staying concrete on what’s facts without the fickleness. You must still know how come and possibly there’s a fickle and honor honesty in professional work environment overall.🙏🏽🙏🏽🙏🏽📖📖

  8. I simply love John Le Carre one of my fav all time writers along with Vonnegut and Hemingway. and that english chap who penned Great Expectations and Scrooge…. I'm tipsy so my memory is besotted…(?) ahh Johnny Walker Red if only i could afford Black!!!! Cheers!!!

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