The Russia House (1990)
I think folks were probably a little confused by this movie. Folks wanting a spy movie came away with the taste of a romance story complicated with messages of new world order and peace. Folks thinking it was a romance between Sean Connery and Michelle Pfeiffer (gross) had to spend most of it watching the CIA and MI6 (and the KGB) twist and distort things. It was decent though and the book is probably alright. I think the fact that they actually filmed it in Russia is almost pretty amazing.
Folks cite this as one of the last “spy” movies of the Cold War, it probably is. It’s interesting that both sides continued to make movies casting each other as the villain but had to twist things to be less ideological and more practical, i.e. corruption, arms sales, revelations of secrets from the past, etc. Media also had to search for new bad guys to fill the void.
This one was a classic “normal guy” caught up in covert espionage. It was interesting that they used a liberal bohemian peacenik book editor because you won’t like seeing them try and mold him into their image. This is a sort of continuation of the shift in audience perception of intelligence agencies from war time heroics to necessary professional and then into something unhealthy, malevolent and foolishly twisted. “You shouldn’t open other people’s letters.” Henry Stimson would be proud.
On a side note, if you’re interested in some of the things that contributed to the end of the Cold War, here are 4 terms that will be useful: