Vladimir Ivanoff (Williams), a circus saxophonist, defects from his touring troupe in Bloomingdale's in New York. He moves into the crowded Harlem flat of a black security guard and begins to adjust to life in the USA. — Ge... more »nre: Feature Film-Comedy
This is the film that put Robin Williams on the map as a "se
E. Scoles | rochester ny usa | 05/11/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)
"...and it would be worth checking out for that reason alone -- except that it's also a _really good_ movie, too. Aside from one brief nude scene (he and Maria Conchita Alonso are lounging in the bath to cool off), it's also about as wholesome as you're going to get in a film for adults. Maltin pretty much hits the nail on the head: It's a bittersweet story about finding out that the land of your dreams is great, but still not all it's cracked up to be. It could be hard for viewers born after about 1970 to really grasp the finality of the Williams character's decisionm, as he finds himself with no real prospect of ever seeing his home and old friends again. IMHO, this film is severely under-rated. Most people have never heard of it; yet as far as I'm concerned, it's one of Williams' best roles. This is one of those movies that's about the characters, and they're developed beautifully. Mazursky and his casting people wisely selected veteran character performers to complement Williams and Venezualan soap-opera pro Alonzo. No one, not even Williams, steals their scenes, and that's as it should be in a movie like this."
The Ups and Downs of Freedom
Richard Stoehr | Bremerton, WA USA | 06/12/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
""Moscow on the Hudson" is not a perfect movie, but it's definitely a more thoughtful, intelligent movie than you might otherwise expect. Robin Williams' performance as a Russian jazz musician defecting to America is sensitive and full-bodied, full of the talent and charm that make him so good to watch. The story is a rollercoaster of moments which reflect the American experience seen through the eyes of someone thrust suddenly in the middle of it all, in the place where it is at its most insane and most wonderful: New York City.
There's a line near the end of the film which struck me as particuarly adroit: "In Moscow, we fight for a crumb of freedom! Here, you s*** on it!" It really can't be said any better than that, and the movie is filled with moments which illustrate what makes America such a great, rich, and sometimes frightening experience, and what makes freedom such an important, and sometimes dangerous, concept.
Freedom is playing "Take the A-Train" on your sax, on a fire escape in New York City in the middle of the day for all the world to hear. Freedom is getting mugged on a city street at 2 AM. Freedom is getting into a stupid fight with your girlfriend, and making up with her later. Freedom is too many brands of coffee at the store, and not knowing which one to choose. Freedom is getting drunk and laughing your head off. Freedom is choosing not to work, even when you could. Freedom is not knowing what comes next.
"Moscow on the Hudson" is sometimes funny, sometimes sad, and almost always smartly-observed. Mostly, it's a movie about freedom -- not in the meaningless context that we hear politicians and pundits talk about it, but it the real, everyday sense, the things that showcase the idea of freedom in all its liberating, chaotic, messy glory."
Freedom isn't free and other things to think about .........
Kim A Miller | Windsor, CT United States | 09/06/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"For many years, I counted Moscow on the Hudson as my favorite film and if you like to be mildy entertained while considering what it means to be free in the USA, you may also love this thoughtful comedy. This was the first film that broke whatever box folks might have been trying to put Robin Williams in (after Mork and Mindy) and added Actor with a capital A to the public perception of him (at least for those who had the chance to see Moscow).
Among my favorite lines in the film is the disenchanted emigree played by Robin in a blue moment saying "When I was in Russia, I loved my misery, because it was mine." I think of this when I meet people whose eyes are closed to how precious our freedom is and the cost we must pay to learn to respect and treasure it.
There are many great scenes worth the wait, such as the final statement scene in the diner where other Russians who have learned how to deal with freedom, set the little Russian straight.
This is not an action filled or laugh filled romp. It is a film that requires a little patience and reflection, but an illumination to those with an open mind. Bravo Mazursky and Williams!"
A Forgotten Gem of Robin Williams
Jeff B | Texas | 02/22/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"One of Robin Williams Early works and Sadly a Forgotten Gem of him. Sometimes Sad, Sometimes Funny as can be it showed his range and abilities even then. He Plays a Russian Circus Musician Tasked to keep an Eye on his friend who has made "Noises" about defecting when the Circus Travels to NYC. Don't want to ruin the Story or Surprises (If you are surprised) but this is a wonderful Story that will take you from Sad to Happy to Laughing and back again.
If you liked Dead Poets Society you will LOVE this."
A really good film .....
U. Philips | Rotterdam | 11/24/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"It is a good American movie about a Russian emigrant in NYC. Most of the viewers praise Robin Williams. Indeed, he plays very well the character of the Russian musician and there is no doubt - he is a great actor. But in this film, you have got a very rare chance to see the greatest Russian comedian Savely Kramarov (staring as head KGB man ). He died from cancer ten years ago in California. But his art and his films are still alive. Every film in which he took a part was automatically a hit in Soviet times. The tickets were sold out at cinemas and streets were empty during TV-broadcasts of his films. In "Moscow on the Hudson" he created a funny and grotesque image of KGB man (as he did it again in the film "RED HEAT" directed by Walter Hill) and I was enjoying watching his work there. It reminds me his best Russian films. I am sure you will appreciate it too. The film is not perfect of course. Some stereotypes about Russia are implemented (such as the refrigerator full of vodka instead of food) Robin Willams struggles to speak "bad English" and has it hard to pronounce Russian words properly. But despite these small problems in showing life in Russia, the film gives a very authentic picture of the "Big Apple" and it is really good one.