HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Shaun the Sheep Movie: Farmageddon, A
Sons of Denmark
Light of My Life
Umbrellas of Cherbourg, The
Jerky Boys, The
Chambre en Ville, Une
Joker
Relaxer
Mustang, The
Baie des Anges, La
Ready or Not
Seven Days in May
Bliss
Hollywood Shuffle
Uncut Gems
Wilt
Daniel Isn't Real
Presidio, The
Curvature
Puzzle
Farewell, The
Challenge of the Tiger
Ad Astra
Winslow Boy, The
Pain and Glory
Judgment at Nuremberg
Rambo: Last Blood
Sansho the Bailiff
Iron Fury
Ride in the Whirlwind
Deathstalker II
Cloak and Dagger
Honeyland
Love Ban, The
Western Stars
League of Gentlemen, The
Higher Power
Shinsengumi
IT Chapter Two
Rich Kids
   
 
Newest Articles
Demy-Wave: The Essential Jacques Demy on Blu-ray
The Makings of a Winner: Play It Cool! on Blu-ray
Sony Channel's Before They Were Famous: A Galaxy of Stars
Start Worrying and Hate the Bomb: Fail-Safe on Blu-ray
Completely Different: Monty Python's Flying Circus Series 2 on Blu-ray
Bash Street Kid: Cosh Boy on Blu-ray
Seeing is Believing: Being There on Blu-ray
Top Thirty Best (and Ten Worst) Films of the 2010s by Andrew Pragasam
Top of the Tens: The Best Films of the Decade by Graeme Clark
Terrorvision: A Ghost Story for Christmas in the 1970s
Memories Are Made of This: La Jetee and Sans Soleil on Blu-ray
Step Back in Time: The Amazing Mr. Blunden on Blu-ray
Crazy Cats and Kittens: What's New Pussycat on Blu-ray
No Place Like Home Guard: Dad's Army - The Lost Episodes on Blu-ray
A Real-Life Pixie: A Tribute to Michael J. Pollard in Four Roles
We're All In This Together: The Halfway House on Blu-ray
Please Yourselves: Frankie Howerd and The House in Nightmare Park on Blu-ray
Cleesed Off: Clockwise on Blu-ray
Sorry I Missed You: Les Demoiselles de Rochefort on Blu-ray
Silliest of the Silly: Monty Python's Flying Circus Series 1 on Blu-ray
Protest Songs: Hair on Blu-ray
Peak 80s Schwarzenegger: The Running Man and Red Heat
Rock On: That'll Be the Day and Stardust on Blu-ray
Growing Up in Public: 7-63 Up on Blu-ray
Learn Your Craft: Legend of the Witches and Secret Rites on Blu-ray
   
 
  Letter to Brezhnev Russian Into LoveBuy this film here.
Year: 1985
Director: Chris Bernard
Stars: Peter Firth, Alfred Molina, Alexandra Pigg, Margi Clarke, Neil Cunningham, Ken Campbell, Angela Clarke, Tracy Lea, Eileen Walsh, Joey Kaye, Frank Clarke, Ted Wood, Sharon Power, Robbie Dee, Carl Chase, Eddie Ross, Syd Newman, Wendy Votel, Jeanette Votel
Genre: Comedy, Drama, Romance
Rating:  7 (from 1 vote)
Review: A Russian ship docks in Liverpool, and two of the sailors, Peter (Peter Firth) and Sergei (Alfred Molina) look forward to their shore leave there, not knowing that tonight will be fateful, though for Peter more than Sergei. Meanwhile, unemployed Elaine Spencer (Alexandra Pigg) is meeting with her friend Tracy (Tracy Lea) to go out to a bar, though she can't spend too much as frankly she's skint. While they are sipping their beers Tracy becomes distracted by a girl she thinks has her eye on Tracy's man, but soon Teresa (Margi Clarke), finishing her shift at the chicken factory, arrives to take Elaine's mind off that...

And onto the possibilities of the evening, where thwarted romantic Elaine can have a chance to live out her dreams of being in a movie like Casblanca - well, she voices the preference of being in the city rather than the film, but we can tell what she's getting at. This unassuming little effort was released the same year as Revolution, the British would-be blockbuster which sank the industry, but showed the way forward for productions on a significantly lower budget with television backing. The result was the Al Pacino flick was a disaster, but here was a modest work which became what they would call a sleeper: few expected much from it, yet it did very well.

Internationally as well as domestically, it should be pointed out, with its positive if guarded message of defrosting Cold War tensions proving attractive to audiences across the globe. Not that this was under some pro-Communist illusions that the Soviet Union was a wonderland compared to Fatcher's Britain, but the point being made that Elaine was about as likely to have a decent life there than at home was hard to ignore. Before we reached that stage, there was the romance to spark such feelings, and that happened when she and Teresa went for a night on the town, first with Teresa's mother's wage packet, then with a pilfered wallet from a couple of overbearing Cypriot chancers.

That gives them the chance to go to a nightclub in the city where Elaine's gaze meets Peter's across a crowded dancefloor, and Teresa invites him and Sergei over, whereupon they get together for the evening. This ends up with Teresa and Sergei getting intimate for the evening in a hotel room, while Elaine and Peter spend the night chatting and falling deeply in love; they spend the next day with each other as well until the sailor has to return to his ship, but they exchange addresses and vow to meet again. Which offers up the central dilemma: does our heroine give up life in Liverpool for Russia? Is she really leaving anything worthwhile behind? In light of writer Frank Clarke's obvious affection for the people of his home city, this might not be as clear as you think.

Of course, Leonid Brezhnev was not in power in the Soviet Union in 1985, having died in '82, but his successors were dropping like flies in the following few years, so Clarke thought the title he had was better than Letter to Andropov or whatever. That indicates the romantic nature of the script, but also the grit, as he did not shy away from facing up to the problems British citizens away from the wealthier regions of the South East were going through, and if Elaine has found herself in her own movie like the ones she dreamed of but never thought would happen to her, there are plenty of elements wanting to drag her back down to earth. Although this could have come across as pretty contrived, earthy performances sold it, and wisely Clarke did not finish on a pat, all loose ends tied up note, preferring to leave it open to our imaginations as to whether Elaine did the right thing. As an example of low budget Britflicks of the eighties, this has a nostalgic quality now, closer to the fantasy of Casablanca perhaps. Music by Alan Gill.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 2229 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star is the best at shouting?
Arnold Schwarzenegger
Brian Blessed
Tiffany Haddish
Steve Carell
Olivia Colman
Captain Caveman
Sylvester Stallone
Gerard Butler
Samuel L. Jackson
Bipasha Basu
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
  Butch Elliot
Andrew Pragasam
Darren Jones
  Rachel Franke
Enoch Sneed
Paul Smith
Paul Shrimpton
   

 

Last Updated: