Published on September 3rd, 2009 | by Chris0
The Russians are Coming, The Russians are Coming (1966)
The Russians are Coming, The Russians are Coming!! Yeah, its a play on the old Paul Revere standby, but I have to say I was somewhat disappointed with "Russians." Billed as a "wacky" "zany" comedy (yeah, that's never good) it fails to soundly deliver on its promise of knee slapping comedy.
The fun starts when a Russian submarine runs aground on a tiny Massachusetts island. They send a party ashore, led by Lt. Rozanov (Alan Arkin) to commandeer a boat to get them free again. They run into Walt Whittaker (Carl Reiner) and his family, and the chaos (and supposedly the hilarity) ensues.
Basically you've got a film trying to be a comedy, trying to thumb its nose at the entire cold war, and really doesn't succeed at either. The ending makes for a few typical Hollywood "feel good" moments, as forced and clumsy as it is. The cast, with Reiner and Arkin, plus Jonathan Winters, Brian Keith, Eva Marie Saint, and a few other familiar faces, really never seems to gel to me. Like they had somewhere else to be. The Rozanov and Whittaker characters especially just seem to be going through the motions. Rozanov particularly. Maybe its an attempt at deadpan, I dunno.
What it really is, though, is a good look at how rumors get spread, changed and completely blown out of proportion. By the end the entire island is up in arms, organizing, fighting amongst themselves, and ready to start world war 3!! I'm sure there's a sociology course that could use this as class material, as the handful of Russian sailors turn into a crack brigade of paratroopers, backed by the Russian Navy and everything else....
Apart from a few gags pulled from the "this should make em laugh" jar, I just didn't find The Russians are Coming all that funny. And that was the point. Once again, The Netflix/Roku Instant Watch pays off though, with excellent delivery.
Here's a few clips, enjoy:
Summary: Apart from a few gags pulled from the "this should make em laugh" jar, I just didn't find The Russians are Coming all that funny. And that was the point.