The Russians Are Coming, the Russians Are Coming Blu-ray Review: If You Want to Hit Him, It’s Alright by Me

Norman Jewison’s The Russians Are Coming, the Russians Are Coming is one of those rare comedies that holds its laughs six decades after its release. In part it is the cast: Alan Arkin, Carl Reiner, Jonathan Winters, Brian Keith, and scads more in lesser roles who still bring the laughter.

Buy The Russians Are Coming The Russians Are Coming Blu-ray

The premise is five times funnier than its simplicity: the captain of a Russian submarine wants to see the United States so badly that he accidentally beaches his sub on a sandbar just off the fictional East Coast island of Gloucester. He sends some of his men onto shore to look for a boat big enough to drag them free of the sandbar. Word spreads that the Russians are coming and the entire island acts like hilarious fools for the next two hours.

This was Alan Arkin’s first starring role and all he has in his arsenal is the Russian language, broken English phrases, and great facial expressions. He tells entire jokes in Russian that you will somehow still understand. It is an ensemble piece, but Arkin is the absolute standout. Carl Reiner plays a visitor from New York who rents a place on Gloucester every summer with his family to give him a peaceful spot for writing his current musical comedy. Brian Keith is the local law, and Jonathan Winters is underutilized as one of his deputies.

The Russians just want off the sandbar without being spotted by anyone. But it is a small town, and, within an hour, everybody knows the Russians are coming. The Russians have to figure out how to keep everybody quiet while dealing with a growing incompetent militia who want to be the saviors of the West.

Special Features:

  • Audio Commentary by Film Historians Michael Sclesinger and Mark Evanier
  • The Russians Are Coming to Hollywood: Featurette with Director Norman Jewison
  • Theatrical Trailer
  • How I Won the War – Trailer
  • Hannibal Brooks – Trailer
  • The Great Escape – Trailer
  • 40 Pounds of Trouble – Trailer
  • The Art of Love – Trailer
  • In the Heat of the Night – Trailer
  • The Thomas Crown Affair – Trailer

Recommendation: Get your copy of Norman Jewison’s The Russians Are Coming, the Russians Are Coming and get ready for a hilarious time when the Russians and Americans found a way to come together.

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Greg Hammond

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