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The Russians Are Coming, the Russians Are Coming is a 1966 American comedy film, loosely adapted from a book. A classic zanny madcap comedy much like It's A Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World. The movie puts a twist on a Cold War story of the comedic chaos which ensues when the Soviet submarine, Спрут (pronounced Sprut - Octopus), accidentally runs aground near a small New England island town.
Before long, the Russian crew are in very deep trouble. A humble comedy writer and his family quickly get caught up in the mess and as you can imagine, Hilarity Ensues.
The film was directed by Norman Jewison, and the cast includes Alan Arkin, Carl Reiner, Eva Marie Saint, Brian Keith, and Jonathan Winters.
The film contains examples of:
- Animated Credits Opening
- As Long as It Sounds Foreign: Averted, most of the Russian characters are played by Russian actors. Also, the spoken Russian is authentic (and not subtitled, except in the DVD release)
- Bilingual Bonus: When two Russian crewmen are in Walt Whittaker's garage, there's a bit of dialogue between them:
Crewman 1: seeing bag of fertilizer "Hey look! American grain!"
Crewman 2: smells it "No, that's shit."
Crewman 1: "Yeuch!" wipes hands off on shirt
- Bound and Gagged: Telephone switchboard operator Alice Foss, by the Russian crew.
- California Doubling: With Northern California standing in for coastal Massachusetts (quite effectively, too).
- A Simple Plan: Rozanov had one, but it hasn't gone right once!
- Brick Joke: Early in the movie, Norman tells Luther to take his horse and inform the residents of the other half of the islands of what has happened. The last scene in the movie features Luther riding, shouting, "the Russians are coming! the Russians are coming!"
- The Captain: Admittedly, he's a bit of a Jerkass, and somewhat incompetent.
- Cold War
- Executive Meddling: The Soviet Navy was more than willing to lend an authentic submarine, but the United States government said no.
- Fake Nationality: None of the sub crew are actually played by actors of Russian descent, although Alan Arkin (Lt. Rozanov), Theodore Bikel (the Captain), and John Phillip Law (Alexei) all give very credible performances. Arkin actually received a Best Actor Oscar nomination for his role.
- Funny Foreigner: The whole Russian crew.
- Hello Again, Officer: Walt keeps running into the same Russian Officer...
"Always I'm saying goodbye to you, and always I'm meeting you again.
"Cahm on Norm, they're oappen' ahp th' bahr!"
- The Name Is Bond, James Bond: Leading to the Russians addressing Walt Whittaker as "Whittaker Walt".
- Only Sane Man: Walt Whittaker
- Took a Level In Badass: Again, Walt Whittaker.
- Red Scare: And how.
- Gentle Giant: The Russian version of "Uncle Harry".
- Climbing Climax: When the Russians and the town's folk make a human pyraimd to help the boy at the top of the Church.
- Reds with Rockets: Submarine, actually.
- Title Drop: By Luther Grilk, at the very end.
- Death From Above: Subverted.
- World Gone Mad: It could have been worse. Much worse. Still, everyone on island is crazy!