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Moscow On The Hudson is a 1984 film starring Robin Williams. He plays Vladimir Ivanov, a saxophone player for the Moscow circus. Poor and miserable, he endures the long lines and the police breathing down his neck. His friend, Anatoly, lends him his apartment so Ivanov can be alone with his girlfriend. They will be performing in New York, and Anatoly wishes to defect. Ivanov is approached by the KGB, who wants him to rat out his friend.

During the visit to New York, however, it is Vladimir who ends up seeking asylum. In legal limbo, he can only find low-paying jobs, and has to stay with a family living in the slums. He must learn to cope in this strange land, what it holds in store for him, and whether or not he can achieve the American Dream.


This work contains examples of:

 Vladimir: It's a strange country.

Boris: Yes. Strange and wonderful.

  • Earn Your Happy Ending
  • Fake Nationality: In addition to Williams' obvious example, Cuban-Venezuelan actress María Conchita Alonso plays Vladimir's Italian girlfriend.
  • Fan Service: Did Maria Conchita Alonso have to have a nude scene in the bathtub? Well, she didn't have to.
  • Faux Fluency: Averted - Robin Williams learned conversational Russian (and also to play the saxophone) to do this role. It's then lampshaded as Vladimir (Williams) and Anatoly (Elya Baskin) practice their English:

 Vladimir: Hello, Mister, may I buy lamb chop?

Anatoly: Sure thing, Mister.

Vladimir: Do you read Ernest Hemingway?

Anatoly: Every fucking day.

Vladimir: Kiss me, beautiful.

 Agent: I want to keep my comrade from making a big mistake.

Guard: I told you to back off! You're in my jurisdiction, which runs from Style Boutique to Personal Fragrances. So keep your hands off the man!

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