THE RUSSIANS ARE COMING! THE RUSSIANS ARE COMING!
D: Norman Jewison
United Artists/The Mirisch Company (Norman
W: William Rose [based on the novel "The Off Islanders" by
DP: Joseph Biroc
Ed: Hal Ashby & J. Terry Williams
Mus: Johnny Manuel
PD: Robert F. Boyle
Carl Reiner (Walt Whittaker), Eva Marie Saint (Elspeth
Whittaker), Alan Arkin (Lt. Yuri Rozanov), Brian Keith (Chief Link Mattocks), Jonathan Winters (Officer Norman Jonas), Theodore Bikel (The Russian Captain)
Cold War farce adapted from Nathaniel Benchley's 1961 novel, this madcap comedy opens with a Soviet submarine getting beached off the shore of a small New England island community and the ensuing
panic causes a tizzy amongst the locals.
Very much a product of its time, it's a caper full of
spoof-like humour not too dissimilar to It's A Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World though some of the performances are very well delivered, particularly Alan Arkin and Theodore Bikel, who could easily pass
for actual Russians.
The general message is quite clever, that misinformation can
spread quite easily and can be the root cause of panic in the streets. Still, it's not dated particularly well and is very America-centric. The most bizarre thing about the movie, by
far, is how it managed to sneak into the Best Picture nominees for 1966. It's jovially amusing at best, and would probably mean much more if originally watched at the time of initial