Gorky Park

Gorky Park

DVD - 2014
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When three murder victims are discovered in Moscow's Gorky Park, their faces and fingertips removed, detective Arkady Renko is determined to identify the bodies and find the killer. But as a picture of the victims takes shape, the clues point toward involvement not only of the KGB but also of the woman he loves, Irina.
Publisher: [Place of publication not identified] :, [Publisher not identified],, [2014]
Branch Call Number: DVD FEATURE Gorky 1983
Characteristics: 1 videodisc (128 min.) :,sound, color ;,4 3/4 in.
digital, optical, stereo, rda
video file, DVD video, region 1, rda


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Mar 18, 2018

Ponderous thriller that gives good insight into what the 1980s were like in Soviet Russia. There are multiple leads/betrayals to track and macabre, lingering shots of the three victims' heads, who had their faces removed. Underneath there's a decent love story, with both man and woman attempting to get each other out of Soviet Russia and into the freedom of the West. History note: if you wondering why, like I did, the police detective Renko jams a pencil in the partially turned dial of the rotary phones as he conducts conversations, it's to avoid listening devices on the line. As noted, this is set back in the 1980s.

Dec 21, 2017

a great little thriller with outstanding performances by Lee Marvin and Brian Dennehy, and the lovely Joanna Pacula, who was nominated for a Golden Globe for this, but watching William Hurt was like looking at Hamlet or Prince Charles do an interpretation of a hard-boiled Russian police detective, not enough grit and brawn at all in his performance, nor personality - unexpectedly, the movie takes on philosophical dimensions near the end, a not unwelcome twist

Nov 17, 2017

The late Dennis Potter surely deserves credit for having written the excellent script for this movie.

Mar 21, 2017

Great movie from a great book . Acting is fantastic. A great look into the private corruptions under Soviet style communism. People's personal greed always conquers all good intentions.

Apr 30, 2016

The story line was good but I found the quality of the film to be low budget.

harrybrowne Jul 01, 2015

Excellent suspense drama based on the book. I have read all of Martin Cruz Smith, and this adaptation does him justice.

Masterful, tight direction from Michael Apted. Spectacular scenery; low key, haunting score; and great acting by all, especially William Hurt.

Best line: I've been in your wonderful Soviet markets. I've never seen anything fresh enough to bleed.

Mar 22, 2015

William Hurt is excellent as a cold and distant Russian detective that might just be in the process of being set up as a patsy by the KGB. If so, his goose is cooked. The next Hurt film would be Kiss of the Spider Woman where he gets both an Oscar win and a Cannes win for best actor, a quite rare fete (I suppose somebody else has accomplished it). The film has quite a convoluted plot with more than two sides trying to come out on top at the end. The ending seems similar to that in Casablanca, with one lover leaving the other on an airplane, probably forever.

Aug 14, 2014

A lot of the politics have changed, and that may make parts of it hard to follow, but it stands up well after 20 years.

May 01, 2013

Some Things Hollywood does well, and for a 1983 thriller this was done very well.

The casting is just right: William Hurt's a fine actor, and who can go wrong with a silver-haired Lee Marvin on board? Every gesture is well-delivered, with the usual loose lack of alacrity yet also his customary onscreen weight. Roger Ebert said about Marvin in this film that, although somewhat typecast, he brought a fully realized character “...so we don't have to stand around waiting for introductions." Brian Dennehy manages well with a good secondary role as a sort of misplaced and out-leagued ex-Marine out to learn what happened to his brother. It’s a plum role for Joanna Pacula too, a Polish actress who strikes the right notes with everything from grim cynicism and suspicion of the Soviet cop (Hurt), to her unusual, quite plausibly Muscovite colouring. Ian Bannen is also excellent in his small part, and even UK comic Alexei Sayle (Didn’t you kill my bruvah? ) has a cameo as a weasely, faintly comical black-marketeer.

Best of all, Michael Apted's direction never lets up the pace under the weight of detail, very little of which (see comment on Marvin) involves action scenes or shoot-‘em-ups. Dennis Potter’s tight script won him the 1984 Edgar Award: the plot calls on a cast of absent characters with an involved back-story integral to the proceedings, but the script is economical, sometimes rich, and not once dated or embarrassing. James Horner held back from his later orchestral exuberance to craft one of his better scores for this. Art directors seldom win prizes for drabness, but if there ever was a candidate, Ralf G. Bode’s work here is it: from the bleak flowery curtains to the rickety Ladas, things have a pre-Gorbachev, Soviet flavour, before Putin and the spy services took possession of that empire. This also includes glimpses of the opulent apparatchiks’ hangouts, such as luxurious baths where the coffee tasted fine and the tables were plush stocked.

Filmed in Helsinki and Stockholm, this is the only Hollywood film in the last half century set in the Soviet Union – but for ‘Enemy at the Gates’ (2001; with Jude Law and Ed Harris as rival WWII sharpshooters). A very few weak notes include a scene in a lobby where eyes don’t meet, then do, and some dialogue near the close as sentimental as in ‘Casablanca,’ though impossible to pull off. Apted chose to keep the scene with the former, very minor gaffe; in the latter, he turns the camera away ...and the editor let him down.

Yet this film is intriguing in being as much about the characters as about the plot they move through. Slowly but convincingly the distaste Pacula portrays so well transitions to a quizzical distance from Hurt, the Moscow cop who gradually shocks her, while trying to win her over, with something she cannot accept. It culminates in an extended, well-scripted scene that is one of the film’s strongest. And Apted nicely litters about a few hints [spoiler to come: do beware] suggesting that this will be one of those plots, fresh for its day, where the one assigning the hero to find the killers is behind the whole caper – which has since been done to death, yet maybe not quite as well.


Apr 01, 2012

most solid crime drama.


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Mar 18, 2018

Violence: Misogyny: a woman is beaten. Two young women are forced to sleep with a 70-year old man who promises to get them to the West. Also various murders and lingering camera shots of skinned faces.


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