The Russia House (1990) Movie

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(Hollywood) USA

Ratings / Votes
5.9/ 10 (8026 Votes)

MPAA Ratings
Rated R for language

Production Company
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM) [us]
Pathé Entertainment [us] - (presents) (as Pathe Entertainment)
Star Partners III Ltd. [us] - (in co-operation with)

Production Designer

All Producers

All Directors


Release Date
(USA) - 19 December 1990
(Peru) - 1991
(Portugal) - February 1991
(Netherlands) - 22 February 1991
(UK) - 22 February 1991

Running Time

From John Le Carre's Best-Selling Thriller A Spy Story . . . A Love Story . . . A Story to Cross all Boundaries. He took a chance because he had nothing to lose, she took a chance because she had everything to gain.

affectionate-hug, alcoholism, army-colonel, audio-surveillance, audiobook, based-on-novel, blackboard, book-editor, book-fair, book-publisher, british-american-cooperation, british-american-relations, british-embassy, british-intelligence, british-spy, character-appears-in-newspaper, character-says-i-love-you, cia, cia-agent, cia-covert-operations, cold-war, cross-cultural-relations, deliberate-cruelty, drinking-from-the-bottle, editor,

Technical Support
CAM:Technovision Camera and Lenses
LAB:Technicolor, Hollywood (CA), USA - (color)
MET:3392 m - (Sweden)
OFM:35 mm - (Eastman)
PCS:Technovision - (anamorphic)
PFM:35 mm
RAT:2.35 : 1

Related Pictures

Pictures of The Russia House (1990) Movie not found

Full Cast

  1. Anjaparidze, Giorgi as (as Georgi Andzhaparidze) [Yuri] <25>
  2. Anzumonyln, Eric as [Nasayan] <23>
  3. Benedict, Jay (I) as [Spikey] <31>
  4. Brandauer, Klaus Maria as [Dante] <10>
  5. Clunes, Martin as [Brock] <13>
  6. Connery, Sean as [Barley] <1>
  7. Crosbie, Craig as [Technician] <45>
  8. Edwards, Keith (I) as [Hoover] <46>
  9. Fitzpatrick, Michael (II) as [Hoover] <47>
  10. Fox, James (I) as [Ned] <4>
  11. Freeman, Rob (I) as [Hoover] <48>
  12. Gregory, Constantine as [KGB Interviewer] <55>
  13. Hawthorne, Denys as [Paddy] <16>
  14. Henry, David (I) as [Jr. Minister - Whitehall] <37>
  15. Jawdokimov, Alexei as [Arkady] <54>
  16. Jutkevitch, Paul as [Misha] <36>
  17. Kitchen, Michael (I) as [Clive] <6>
  18. Knupffer, Peter as [Sergey] <20>
  19. La Mura, Mark as [Todd] <28>
  20. Lawford, Christopher as [Larry] <27>
  21. Mahoney, John (I) as [Brady] <5>
  22. Mankuma, Blu as [Merv] <29>
  23. Mariner, Peter as [U.S. Scientist] <18>
  24. McDonald, Mac (I) as [Bob] <11>
  25. McNeice, Ian as (as Ian McNiece) [Merrydew] <14>
  26. Milligan, Tuck as [Stanley] <30>
  27. Nikiforov, Vladek as [Tout] <26>
  28. Pastukhov, Nikolai as [Uncle Matvey] <21>
  29. Rattee, Paul as [Army Officer - Whitehall] <39>
  30. Raymond, Jack (II) as [Lev] <52>
  31. Reason, Jonathan as (uncredited) [Delegate]
  32. Reusenko, Sergei as [KGB Man] <56>
  33. Roth, George (I) as [Cy] <17>
  34. Russell, Ken (I) as [Walter] <8>
  35. Ryall, David as [Colonial Type] <53>
  36. Salkey, Jason as [Johnny] <22>
  37. Scheider, Roy as [Russell] <3>
  38. Sirotin, Pavel as [Watcher] <35>
  39. Smirnov, Fyodor as [Watcher] <34>
  40. Stinton, Colin as [Henziger] <15>
  41. Templeman, Simon as [Psychoanalyst - Whitehall] <40>
  42. Threlfall, David as [Wicklow] <9>
  43. Timson, David as [George] <32>
  44. Tsturvan, Yegueshe as [Flute Player] <57>
  45. Venov, Gennady as [Katya's Father] <49>
  46. Walsh, J.T. as [Quinn] <7>
  47. Wenner, Martin as [Scientist - Whitehall] <38>
  48. Woodeson, Nicholas as [Niki Landau] <12>
  49. Wozniak, Daniel as [Zapadny] <24>
  50. Yatsko, Sasha as [Russian Writer] <50>
  51. Zunetov, Vladimir as [Dan] <51>
  52. Cornwell, Charlotte as [Charlotte] <44>
  53. Hurst, Ellen as [Anna] <19>
  54. Lock, Kate as [Jacky] <43>
  55. Nikiforov, Gina as [Russian Guest] <41>
  56. Pfeiffer, Michelle as [Katya] <2>
  57. Ryazanova, Raisa as [Russian Guest] <42>
  58. Stroyeva, Yelena as (as Elena Stroyeva) [Anastasia] <33>


  1. Drama
  2. Romance
  3. Thriller

Full Plot

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. Murray Chapman Plot not found

Total Business

CP: 1990 Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios Inc. CP: 1990 Pathe Entertainment, Inc. All Rights Reserved (on print) GR: USD 22,998,000 (USA) SD: 2 October 1989 - 20 December 1989

Movie Certificate

Livre (Brazil)
L (Iceland)
12 (South Korea)
6 (Netherlands)
AL (Netherlands)(DVD rating)
M/12 (Portugal)
14 (Peru)
13 (Argentina)
M (Australia)
14 (Chile)
S (Finland)
12 (Germany)
Btl (Sweden)
15 (UK)
R (USA)(certificate #30629)
PG (Singapore)

Music Composers

  1. Goldsmith, Jerry


  1. Baker, Ian (I) (director of photography)

Dress Designers

  1. Myers, Ruth (I)


América Vídeo [br] - (199?) (Brazil) (VHS)
Ascot Elite Home Entertainment [de] - (2012) (Germany) (DVD)
Ascot Elite Home Entertainment [de] - (2012) (Germany) (DVD) (Blu-ray)
Cannon/VMP [de] - (1991) (Germany) (VHS)
Emerald [ar] - (2012) (Argentina) (DVD)
Filmédia [fr] - (2012) (France) (DVD) (Blu-ray)
MGM Home Entertainment (Europe) [gb] - (2002) (UK) (DVD)
MGM Home Entertainment [de] - (2002) (Germany) (DVD)
MGM Home Entertainment [us] - (2009) (USA) (DVD) (The Michelle Pfeiffer Star Collection)
MGM/UA Home Entertainment [us] - (1991) (USA) (video) (laserdisc)
MGM/UA Home Entertainment [us] - (1993) (USA) (VHS)
MGM/UA Home Entertainment [us] - (2001) (USA) (DVD)
MGM/UA Home Entertainment [us] - (2001) (USA) (VHS)
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM) [us] - (1990) (USA) (theatrical)
National Broadcasting Company (NBC) [us] - (1994) (USA) (TV) (broadcast premiere)
SF Home Entertainment [se] - (2002) (Sweden) (DVD)
Senator Film [de] - (1991) (Germany) (theatrical)
Transmundo Films [ar] - (1991) (Argentina) (theatrical)
Transmundo Home Video (THV) [ar] - (1991) (Argentina) (VHS)
Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment [nl] - (2000) (Netherlands) (VHS)
Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment [nl] - (2002) (Netherlands) (DVD)
United International Pictures (UIP) [fr] - (1991) (France) (theatrical)
United International Pictures (UIP) [gb] - (1991) (UK) (theatrical)
United International Pictures (UIP) [se] - (1991) (Sweden) (theatrical)
Video Medien Pool (VMP) GmbH [de] - (1991) (Germany) (VHS)

Film Editors

  1. Besterveld, Beth Jochem (uncredited)
  2. Honess, Peter


  1. Abreu, José (stand-in) (uncredited)
  2. Baranova, Elena (II) (interpreter: Mr. Connery, Moscow/Leningrad)
  3. Bryant, Lizzie (production secretary)
  4. Casal-Ribeiro, Kita (location manager: Lisbon)
  5. Chugunova, Maria (liaison: Russian, Moscow/Leningrad) (as Marsha Chuganova)
  6. d'Arcy, Susan (unit publicist) (as Sue D'Arcy)
  7. Dickinson, Rob (I) (computer/ video supervisor)
  8. Everson, Roy (stand-in: Mr. Connery)
  9. Fennell, Lorraine (production coordinator: England)
  10. Ferraro, Terri (production coordinator: Los Angeles)
  11. Fox, Michelle (II) (assistant: Mr. Maslansky)
  12. Fus, Stan (assistant location manager: London)
  13. Golub, Leonid (location manager: Moscow/Leningrad)
  14. Golynsky, Yevgeni (location manager: Moscow/Leningrad) (as Yevgeniy Golynsky)
  15. Gray, Marion (production secretary)
  16. Gregory, Constantine (dialect coach)
  17. Hickinbotham, Ian (location manager: London)
  18. Hobbs, Phil (caterer: Location Caterers)
  19. Hoey, Lynn (production assistant: London)
  20. Howard, Catherine (I) (production coordinator: Vancouver)
  21. Hyman, Kevin (production auditor)
  22. Jaffe, Jim (product placement) (uncredited)
  23. Jones, Gary (III) (production auditor)
  24. Kushneryov, Yuri (production services: Moscow/Leningrad)
  25. Lindsay, Andrew (I) (catering manager)
  26. Lore, Suzanne (production coordinator: Russia/Portugal)
  27. Mascarenhas, Cristina (II) (accountant: Lisbon)
  28. Maslansky, Sasha (production assistant: Vancouver)
  29. Mazo, Anna (production assistant: Moscow/Leningrad)
  30. Mikheyeva, Natasha (interpreter: production office, Moscow/Leningrad)
  31. Monich, Tim (dialect coach: Ms. Pfeiffer)
  32. Nebrutov, Alexi (interpreter: Mr. Schepisi, Moscow/Leningrad)
  33. Nixon, Gary (I) (assistant accountant)
  34. Pagava, Inga (interpreter: Ms. Pfeiffer, Moscow/Leningrad)
  35. Page, Nick (III) (caterer: Coma Onde Quiser, Lisbon)
  36. Paynter, Rex (catering assistant)
  37. Sanovich, Inessa (production assistant: Moscow/Leningrad)
  38. Schembri, George (chef)
  39. Schepisi, Ashley (assistant: Mr. Schepisi)
  40. Stewart, Marilyn (public relations)
  41. Stitt, Alex (title designer)
  42. Straw, Joe (production accountant) (uncredited)
  43. Threadgold, Robert (post-production accountant)
  44. Tocher, Tana (caterer: Reel Appetites, Vancouver) (as Tana J. Tocher)
  45. Vasilkov, Aleksandr (accountant: Moscow/Leningrad) (as Alexander Vasilkov)
  46. West, Rebecca (I) (publicity assistant)
  47. Whelan, John (I) (catering assistant)
  48. Wilson, Christine (I) (script supervisor)


Clive: You live in a free society; you have no choice. [while training for a covert mission] Barley: This is fun... Is that why you keep it secret? Katya: Glasnost gives everyone the right to complain and accuse, but it doesn't make shoes. Barley: Yes, because I prefer Russia. It's as corrupt as America, but there's less bullshit. Russell: How the fuck do you peddle an arms race when the only asshole you've got to race against is yourself? CIA Interrogator: Have you ever met any jazz musicians you would describe, or who would describe themselves, as anarchists? Bartholomew "Barley" Scott Blair: Hmmm... ah, there was a trombone player, Wilfred Baker. [the interrogator starts writing] He's the only jazz musician I can think of who is completely devoid of anarchist tendencies. Russell: I am an honest-to-God glasnostic. My parents were glasnostics from way back. My children will be raised glasnostic, even though I don't have any children. Bartholomew "Barley" Scott Blair: Any decent church would have burned you bastards years ago. Bartholomew "Barley" Scott Blair: You have to think like a hero merely to behave like a decent human being. Brady: Wasn't Ray the sweetest man you ever met? Bartholomew "Barley" Scott Blair: Ray was a prince. Brady: Ever play chess with him? Bartholomew "Barley" Scott Blair: As a matter of fact I did. Brady: Who won? Bartholomew "Barley" Scott Blair: I did. Brady: So did I. Walter: This is just like school! Dear old, bloody old, school! [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. Russell: [on the phone with Ned] I've heard the tapes and I've never so much pussy-footing around in my life! Barley needs to tell Katya, 'No more Greta fucking Garbo!' And Dante better shit or get off the pot! We're being pelted with crap on the streets over here! Ned: Alright, Russell, message understood. [Hangs up and calls someone over] Russell's metaphors are becoming rather scatological. Russell: [to Ned] Dante is going to phone Katya at the hospital. If he does that, will you shut the fuck up? Or stay out of my operation? Barley: Who are you, Dante? What do you do for a living? Dante: I am a moral outcast. Barley: Well it's always nice to meet a writer. Bartholomew "Barley" Scott Blair: So there was a crunch: to save your precious secrets or to trade them for Katya and her family. The easiest decision I ever made. 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. Bartholomew "Barley" Scott Blair: It was my first good contract: real people for unreal arguments. Bartholomew "Barley" Scott Blair: I love you. All my failings were preparation for me to you. It's like nothing I have ever known: it's unselfish love, grown up love. You know it is. It's mature, absolute, thrilling love. Katya: You have bewitched my family. My children think all you British are Santa Claus in beautiful tweed clothes. Bartholomew "Barley" Scott Blair: There's no Santa Claus. Nobody is what it seems. Except you. Walter: [looking around the mess of Barley's apartment] How do you *live* with yourself? Barley: Actually I don't live with myself. I tend to give myself a pretty wide berth. Bartholomew "Barley" Scott Blair: If there is to be a hope we must all betray our country, we have to save each other because all victims are equal and none is more equal than others. It's everyone's duty to start the avalanche. Clive: Do you believe this nonsense? Bartholomew "Barley" Scott Blair: I don't know. I believe it when I say it. But you've got to be there: you're taking a leak in some filthy public urinal and the man in the next stall leans across and asks you about God or Kafka or freedom versus responsibility; so you tell him because you know, because you're from the West. And before you've finished shaking your dick you think:"What a great country!" That's why I love them... and they're very fond of me. Walter: Reconstruction! Openness! You don't reconstruct the balance of terror and open the ultimate can of worms. Barley: I'm not the man you thought I was. Dante: You do not have to remind me that man is not equal to his rhetoric. Russell: Mr. Blair, we are buying a Picasso, ok? You don't mind an occasional metaphor now and then, do you? Bartholomew "Barley" Scott Blair: Not at all. Russell: Good. Some people don't like my metaphors; I don't know why, but... Anyway, everyone in this room is buying the same Picasso. It's very rare... medium rare... well done, what the fuck! The bottom line question is: did Picasso paint it? And you're the man who is selling it to us? Bartholomew "Barley" Scott Blair: It is not my Picasso, Russell, it is not my Picasso. And I'm not saying it is a Picasso. And, furthermore, I'm not selling it to you. And, lastly, I don't give a fuck whether you buy it or not. Ned: The issue is: "why"? That's what you're looking for all the time: we trust the motive, we trust the man, and we can trust the material. Why did Dante pick on Katya? Why does he put her life at risk? Why does she let him? Is she a spy? [Russell produces a stack of reports on the analysis of Dante's material] Clive: And is there a conclusion? Russell: Clive, there is a conclusion: drop it down the toilet. Ned: And is that what you think, Russell? Russell: Well, expert opinion has that this notebook was written very quickly... or very slowly. By a man, or a woman. The writer was right-handed, or he was left-handed. What I think? For "experts," there's no toilet deep enough. Russell: The trouble is, a lot of very favorite sons are in danger of having their rice bowls broken, all on account of these goddamn notebooks. The Soviet military effort is stalled, the American military effort is stalled. These notebooks say their rocket motors suck instead of blow, they can't do solid fuel for shit...

Other Titles

  1. Das Russland-Haus (1991) (ENG)

  2. John le Carré's The Russia House (1990) (ENG)
    (USA) (complete title)

  3. La casa Russia (1990) (ENG)

Shooting/Filming Locations

  1. All-Russia Exhibition Center, Moscow, Russia
  2. Bank Bridge, St. Petersburg, Russia
  3. Bowen Island, British Columbia, Canada - ('safe house' scene)
  4. GUM Department Store, Moscow, Russia
  5. Hotel National, Mokhovaya Street, Tverskoy District, Moscow, Russia
  6. Hotel Pribaltiskaya, St. Petersburg, Russia
  7. Hotel Ukraina, Moscow, Russia
  8. Kolomenskoye Reserve, Moscow, Russia
  9. Lisbon, Portugal
  10. London, England, UK
  11. Moscow, Russia
  12. Peredelkino, Moscow, Russia
  13. Pinewood Studios, Iver Heath, Buckinghamshire, England, UK - (studio)
  14. St. Petersburg, Russia
  15. Trinity Lavra of St. Sergius Monastery, Sergiyev Posad, Russia
  16. Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada


- There is a nearly 30 year age difference between the two leads who are love interests. They are played by 'Sean Connery' (qv) and 'Michelle Pfeiffer' (qv). Connery was born in 1930 whilst Pfeiffer was born in 1958.

- 'Michelle Pfeiffer' (qv) turned down the role of the mistress in _The Bonfire of the Vanities (1990)_ (qv) (which went to 'Melanie Griffith' (qv)) to play the part of a Russian book editor in this film. Her role in this film as Katya Orlova earned her a Golden Globe Nomination for Best Actress (Drama) but Pfeiffer lost to 'Kathy Bates (I)' (qv) for _Misery (1990)_ (qv).

- The meaning and relevance of the title "The Russia House" is that it refers to the nickname given to the section of the British Secret Service that was assigned to investigating the Soviet Union.

- This movie was made and first released only about a year after its source novel of the same name by 'John le Carré' (qv) was first published in 1989.

- The actual full name of the Barley Blair character (played by 'Sean Connery' (qv)) is Bartholomew Scott Blair.

- For this film, director 'Fred Schepisi' (qv) was nominated for the Golden Berlin Bear at the 41st Berlin International Film