The Russians are Coming! The Russians are Coming!
Directed by Norman Jewison. US. 1966. NR. 2 hours 15 minutes. MGM. 35mm.
Sun., October 1, 2017
Since Russia seems to be in the news a lot lately, why not start off a month of films about Mother Russia with a bit of fun? This film ranks with Dr. Strangelove (screening on Sep 24) as being a hilarious, but thought-provoking, look back at the national paranoia that existed during the 50s and early 60s regarding the threat of “evil Godless communism.” The story is simple: confused, kindly Russian submarine captain Alan Arkin (Oscar-nominated in his first screen role) accidentally runs his submarine aground on the New England coast and goes ashore for help, leading to widespread local panic. With comic performances which are, at times, literally hysterical from the likes of Carl Reiner, Jonathan Winters, and Paul Ford, this film pokes gentle and hilarious fun not only at the xenophobia and tensions of the times, but also at the foibles of small-town American life.