Glasnost and perestroika have a bit to answer for with this true-ish story. Allowed back into Russia to film, Konchalovsky was given access to secret police chief Beria's bullet-proof train compartment and the dreaded KGB building. And that, plus Hoskins' amused performance as Beria, is the upside. Ivan (Hulce), believing that he's under arrest, is whisked off to work the projector for movie-fan Stalin (Zbruev), and is soon boasting to his wife Anastasia (Davidovich) about his importance. She doesn't share his worship of Stalin, and is obsessed with the fate of an orphaned Jewish girl (Baranova). None of this is convincing, and errors of judgment reach surreal proportions (passing cattle urinating into the couple's basement flat, an enormous gilt bust of Stalin bulging out the wardrobe). While serving on a train, Anastasia is 'requisitioned' by Beria, though Ivan registers only the honour of it all - until she returns pregnant. Grinning Hulce is unbelievably gormless throughout.
Cast and crew
|Screenwriter:||Andrei Konchalovsky, Anatoly Usov|
Feodor Chaliapin Jr