Gorky Park


Action / Crime / Drama / Mystery / Thriller


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October 18, 2014 at 01:57 AM



Ian McDiarmid as Prof. Andreev
William Hurt as Arkady Renko
Brian Dennehy as William Kirwill
Lee Marvin as Jack Osborne
720p 1080p
875.12 MB
23.976 fps
2hr 8 min
P/S 0 / 1
1.95 GB
23.976 fps
2hr 8 min
P/S 1 / 6

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by Robert J. Maxwell ([email protected]) 7 / 10

Krasnya horrorshow

For some reason I almost always watch this when it appears on cable TV. The plot, twisted and complicated as it is, is a bit hard to follow at times although it does make sense if you pay attention. But I think it's the general milieu that is evoked by the location shooting, wardrobe, makeup, and art direction that makes this interesting.

Boy, it looks cold! Everyone seems to dress in multilayered dark clothing and the men wear Pelzkappe, those big furry caps. When characters speak in outdoor scenes, their breath steams, though not always, so you can pretty much distinguish the scenes shot in the studio from those outside. Smith's novel was a bit more explicit about the material culture of Moscow than this movie is. Not only doesn't Chief Investigator Hurt's cheesy looking compact car have a heater but his shoes are made partly of cardboard.

Viewers usually don't pay much attention to makeup unless it draws attention to itself but the makeup department should get a medal for this one. First off, everyone is pale, as they should be in the midst of a Russian winter. The usual tendency is to pile on the suntan and make everyone glamorous. If you want to see an example of what I mean, watch "A Time to Love and a Time to Die", the scene in which John Gaving as a German soldier returns from months at the front during the winter and takes a bath naked so we can all admire his muscles and that tan he sports all over his body, suggesting not November in Kursk but a summer at the beach in Zihuatanejo. Then there is Joanna Pacula's makeup. She's pale too but she's given just enough eyeshadow or kohl or whatever it is, and her brows and lashes are emphasized just enough to make her look even more modelesque than she ordinarily would. If her eyebrows were any darker she'd look like Audrey Hepburn in "Sabrina." As it is, with her blue eyes framed by those orbital rings and her chestnut curls cascading around her cheeks, she looks slightly predatory, maybe like a sable. In some later movie she played a vampire, I think, and I can see why she was cast. William Hurt, likewise pale, even paler than usual come to think of it, is likewise nicely handled. His thin stringy hair has been blackened for some reason. I don't know why. There are plenty of blond Russians. Look at Alexander Gudonov.

Hurt's character is nobody's idea of a superhero. He's just an earnest cop who can be beaten up, as he is several times. After he has killed a traitor who happened to be a man of considerable importance in the Soviet bureaucracy, he next shows up on screen with a small shiner the color of a storm cloud on one of his eyelids and a slight scab on his lower lip. He's been clobbered by the KGB for the killing, you see. But we don't see it on screen, or hear it described. The bruises on his face tell the story. How tempting it must have been to make more of these possibilities. A Makeup Department could have gone ape here -- one cheek stuffed with cotton, bandages on his head, his face a welter of bruises. But this is tastefully done, giving you all the information you need in order to know what happened. Actually, there is one tan face in the crowd -- Lee Marvin's. But it suits him. And he's an American businessman who only visits the USSR from time to time so, between visits, for all we know he may be stretched out on the beach at Bora Bora. He even wears beige and dark browns that match his suntan, and he's the only one in the bunch who actually looks spiffy. William Hurt may be chewed out by his superior for not having shaved closely enough but that would never happen to Marvin, who looks like he just stepped out of five-hundred-dollar a head hair salon.

There isn't a line spoken by Marvin that doesn't ring with irony. Every pause, every facial twitch, every curious line reading, tells us that this guy is very clever and he knows it. Pacula's performance is that of a model who's taken acting lessons. William Hurt, a fine actor, does some strange things here. He LOOKS the part of the determined militia detective, relatively quiet, rarely smiling, seldom physical -- but he drapes his speech in British locutions: "yore" for "your", "bean" for "been," and so on. We can only guess why. The two Americans (Dennehy and Marvin) speak frank American. The actors playing Russians are all from the UK except Pacula, who is Polish and kept help her Slavic accent. So by adopting a Brit accent Hurt places himself among the "Russians." Dennehy, by the way, is at the top of his form. Marvin is absolutely magnetic, as is Ian Bannon, whose readings have the same ironic pitches and stress as Marvin's. You never believe a word he says.

The film ends on a noble note. Pacula gets to go to America which, as everyone knows, is rich, democratically pure, and free of corruption. Hurt stays behind to save her from being followed and killed by KGB. The novel had a different ending. The hero follows the girl to New York City. They sit down to watch television. The program is one they have never seen before. It's title is, "The Price is Right." ("Come on DOWN!") The hero says something like, "THIS is what it's all about? Money?" And gets up and goes back to Russia leaving the girl flat.

Reviewed by matlock-6 9 / 10

Good fun in Helsinki

I enjoy this film immensely, not only for the great acting of Brian Dennehey, William Hurt, and Lee Marvin, but for the fact that it is about police in some place other than New York or Los Angeles.

Hurt is very believable as a Russian cop who has to track down a murderer. Marvin is great as his adversary, the corrupt American businessman.

The primary complaint about this film is that it wasn't filmed in Russia. What people tend to forget is that it was made at the height of the cold war, and Soviet Premier Chernenko and the Politburo would not have opened Moscow to an American film crew, much less one that wanted to make a movie that depicts the various Russian agencies and beuraucrats as being as corrupt as Marvin.

In the end, they settled for Helsinki, Finland (which I guess is a fair trade-off, since Finland was technically a part of Russia for a few hundred years). Those who are familiar with Helsinki will probably mock this film (as my Finnish girlfriend did), but if you're not familiar, or willing to look past that shortcoming, then you will probably enjoy this movie quite a bit. They even went as far as to use Russian built "Ladas" (a brand of car) in the movie.

Today, this movie would have been made in Moscow or St. Petersburg, and would probably be better. But it's still good, well made overall, and worth watching.

Reviewed by Terrell-4 8 / 10

Well Made, Bittersweet Police Procedural

It's winter and three corpses are found in Moscow's Gorky Park. They've had their faces and finger tips carved off. Arkady Renko, an honest, slightly obsessive Russian cop, is assigned to the case. He sets out to identify the bodies by reconstructing their faces, and as he gets closer he finds obstructions in his path. He finds a girl (Joanna Pacula) who was friends of the trio, a wealthy and ruthless American (Lee Marvin), an American cop (Brian Dennehy) out for blood, and more than he probably wants to know about sable coats and the animals they're made from. It becomes clear that corrupt higher-ups are involved in something with greater stakes than solving a triple murder. Hurt and Marvin do great jobs and are well matched.

This is a tight, very well constructed police procedural that is a little exotic, with the cops and functionaries being Russians. It's also a bit gloomy with a bitter sweet ending, but it still works as a very watchable film. A lot of the outdoor shots were filmed in Helsinki, and the movie takes place in the winter. The atmosphere looks cold and oppressive. The contrast is striking with the scenes set in a pre-revolutionary bath and an expensive restaurant, both reserved for the use of privileged Soviet officials.

The book, by Martin Cruz Smith, is even better. Apted also directed Enigma, and I like both movies a lot.

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