'The Russia House' on Blu-ray

Category: Blu-ray's and DVD's

Twilight Time has just released the first Blu-ray edition of the 1990 film The Russia House. Sean Connery and Michelle Pfeiffer star in this screen adaptation of the John le Carre novel. Tom Stoppard wrote the screenplay.

Connery plays Barley, a British publisher with a love of Russia. He travels to Russia frequently on business and has an affinity for the Russian people. On one trip he meets a man named Dante (Klaus Maria Brandauer) who is intent on listening to Barley espouse ideas about countries, patriotism, and the new Détente between Russia and the west.

When Katya, (Pfeiffer), a Russian woman gives a manuscript to a friend of his to be delivered directly to him, it isn’t. Instead it is given to the intelligence community who read the notebooks, which are filled with information about the state of Russian warfare. Namely, they learn that Russia isn’t as advanced as they say they are.

But who wrote books and why was it sent to Barley? Barley is immediately picked up and brought in for questioning. He is then asked to help them determine the authenticity of the claims made in the notebooks. Reluctantly, he agrees to be a “spy” for them.

Upon returning to Russia he meets Katya and they form a bond. They actually form more than a simple bond. As time goes by they fall in love. This presents a difficult situation for Barley as he knows Katya is stuck in the middle between Dante, the scientist who betrayed his country, and the Russian government.

The Russia House is a slow-moving drama that is only elevated by the marvelous music by Jerry Goldsmith. Carre penned wonderful novels like “The Spy Who Came in From the Cold,” “The Little Drummer Girl,” “The Tailor of Panama,” “Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy,” and many more. The movie was shot on location and the outside scenes in Moscow, St. Petersburg (Leningrad), and Lisbon add greatly to the story. The crew was allowed unprecedented access to film around the cities and as they describe in the bonus feature, they often just went out on the streets to film since it was easier than setting up a shot with extras and cameras. They simply went out and acted while being surrounded by average Russians.

The movie is an interesting story of love, country, and espionage. It isn’t Carre’s best film adapted story, however Connery increases its enjoyment, and the scenery in Russia is a memorable aspect of the film.

The Russia House is rated R for language.

About the Author

Francine Brokaw has been covering all aspects of the entertainment industry for 20 years. She also writes about products and travel. She has been published in national and international newspapers and magazines as well as Internet websites. She has written her own book, Beyond the Red Carpet The World of Entertainment Journalists, from Sourced Media Books.

Follow her on Twitter