When a sightseeing Soviet commander runs his submarine aground off the New England coast, the crew's attempts to find a boat to dislodge them almost start WWIII! Alan Arkin leads an all-star castincluding Carl Reiner, Eva Marie Saint, Brian Keith and Jonathan Wintersin this riotous, uproarious [and] side-splitting (Cue) comedy! Russian Lt. Rozanov (Arkin) and his crew hit the beaches of Massachusetts unaware of the panic they're about to start. Despite the Russians harmless intentions, the folks in town think a full-scale Soviet invasion has been launched! What's worse, theirpolice chief (Keith) has left his hysterical assistant (Winters) in charge and the one man who knows the truth (Reiner) is only stirring up more chaos!
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The Russians Are Coming, the Russians Are Coming looks overly cute now, but really, it was pretty hip for 1966. The cold war was in full deep-freeze when this well-meaning comedy tried to thaw things out a little: a Soviet submarine beaches on the New England coast, sending the locals into a paranoid frenzy. The chief pleasure of the film is Alan Arkin as the sub captain; this was Arkin's first major film role, and he had already mastered his exasperated, slow-burning frown (to say nothing of mastering his Russian dialogue). Arkin snagged an Oscar® nomination, with the movie receiving nominations for best picture, adapted screenplay, and editing--nods that reflect the film's smashing success at the box office. Somewhat dated now, the movie still has its place in the roster of raucous, American small-town comedies; seen in childhood, it will linger nicely as a depiction of foolish grown-ups. --Robert Horton
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