The Russians Are Coming, the Russians Are Coming
is a 1966 American comedy film, loosely adapted from a book. A classic zany 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:
- Alliterative Name: Walt Whittaker
- Animated Credits Opening
- As Long as It Sounds Foreign: Averted; 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.
- Brick Joke: Early in the movie, Norman tells Luther to take his horse and inform the residents of the other half of the island of what has happened. The last scene in the movie features Luther riding, shouting, "The Russians are coming! The Russians are coming!"
- California Doubling: With Northern California standing in for coastal Massachusetts (quite effectively, too).
- The Captain: Admittedly, he's a bit of a Jerk Ass, and somewhat incompetent.
- Climbing Climax: When the Russians and the townsfolk make a human pyraimd to help the boy at the top of the church.
- Clueless Deputy: Norman Jonas
- Cold War
- Death from Above: Subverted.
- Eccentric Townsfolk
- Extremely Short Timespan: Everything unfolds over the course of a single morning and afternoon.
- 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.
- Gentle Giant: The Russian version of "Uncle Harry".
- 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."
- Hidden in Plain Sight: The Russians that go about in disguise.
- Hollywood New England:
"Cahm on Norm, they're oappen' ahp th' bahr!"
- Military Meddling: The U.S. Navy refused to lend a submarine for the production of the film, and vetoed the producers' idea of acquiring a genuine Soviet sub.
- Most Writers Are Writers: Walt Whittaker is a comedy writer.
- The Name Is Bond, James Bond: Leading to the Russians addressing Walt Whittaker as "Whittaker Walt".
- Only Sane Man: Walt Whittaker
- Red Scare: And how.
- Reds with Rockets: Submarine, actually.
- A Simple Plan: Rozanov had one, but it hasn't gone right once!
- Title Drop: By Luther Grilk, at the very end.
- Took a Level in Badass: Again, Walt Whittaker.
- World Gone Mad: It could have been worse. Much worse. Still, everyone on the island is crazy!
- You No Take Candle: "Emergency, everybody to get from street!"