The Inner Circle 1991 PG-13 CC

Amazon Instant Video

(31) IMDb 7.1/10

A Russian film projectionist, brought in by the KGB to show films to Stalin, witnesses the actions and decisions of the ruthless dictator. Based on a true story.

Starring:
Tom Hulce, Bob Hoskins
Runtime:
2 hours 18 minutes

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The Inner Circle

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Product Details

Genres Drama
Director Andrey Konchalovskiy
Starring Tom Hulce, Bob Hoskins
Supporting actors Bob Hoskins, Aleksandr Zbruev, Feodor Chaliapin Jr., Bess Meyer, Mariya Baranova, Irina Kupchenko, Vladimir Kuleshov, Vsevolod Larionov, Aleksandr Filippenko, Evdokiya Germanova, Lyubov Matyushina, Aleksandr Garin, Mariya Vinogradova, Aleksandr Lipkov, Antonina Anokhina, Aleksandr Sirin, Oleg Tabakov, Mikhail Kononov
Studio Columbia Pictures
MPAA rating PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)
Captions and subtitles English Details
Rental rights 48 hour viewing period. Details
Purchase rights Stream instantly and download to 2 locations Details
Format Amazon Instant Video (streaming online video and digital download)

Other Formats

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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See all 31 customer reviews
Great acting and directing.
Amos Szpiro
The use of mirrors throughout the film invites one to view the "inner circle" as much more than those people closest to Stalin.
Deborah Lovelace
Actually, the film is more subtle than it appears to be.
Igor Gershenson

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

40 of 40 people found the following review helpful By Igor Gershenson on April 25, 1999
Format: VHS Tape
This is by far the most underrated film ever made. Granted, it might seem emotionally draining and depressing the first time you see it. However, it is still one of the most memorable pictures I have ever seen. The story is simple in a sense that everyone's motivations are clear, and that is precisely what is so good about the film; you don't have to spend hours figuring out who did what and why. The characters are not one-dimensional, as Leonard Maltin said. They are as complex as they need to be. Matlin also pointed out that the film lacks subtlety. Actually, the film is more subtle than it appears to be. Think about it. The Inner Circle is, among other things, a statement against Stalinism. Yet we never see any labor camps. We do not see anyone getting shot. The Inner Circle only tells a story of one family. After seeing what they have to go through we begin to understand the true extent of the horror that Stalin unleashed on his nation. Also, this film is truly moving. Part of the reason the movie is so successful is that it is about real people and real situations. Oh, the performances.... I do not where to begin. Tom Hulce is incredible. If I did not know him from Amadeus I would have thought he was a Russian actor. Just look at the expression on his face: He looks as if he is actually living the story. Other actors are great too. To make the long story short, if you are into Russian history and you don't mind watching powerful and thought-provoking drama once in a while than this movie is for you.
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22 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Anyechka on January 5, 2005
Format: VHS Tape
Even though this movie is very long and at times can be viewed as depressing, I think this is my all-time fave movie. Ever since the first time I saw it on the History Channel in July of 1996, coming on it during the scene where Ivan is first meeting Stalin and saying his hands are shaking because it's the first time he's stood so close to him, I've been enraptured by it, and always watched it from then on out whenever the History Channel showed it during Movies in Time. Thankfully I videotaped it in June of 1997 and got all of the quotes and commentary on the movie between commercial breaks (such as the quote from director Konchalovskiy about how he wanted to portray terror by showing the arrest of a single Jewish intellectual in lieu of mountains of dead bodies), as well as the interview and movie discussion with Daniel Pipes that took place right after the movie ended, stuff specific only to the History Channel's viewing of it. Unfortunately they no longer have Movies in Time and the video appears to be out of print, so I'm lucky to have it.

Maybe I'm biased because I'm a passionate Russophile, but this movie is extremely engrossing and emotionally compelling, as well as covering one of my favourite eras of Russian history, it's just one of those films where the three hours fly by in the blink of an eye because it's such a good movie you forget about its sheer length. The music and lighting also heavily contribute to the overall mood of terror, suspicion, fear, and poignancy.
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21 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Gary Selikow on January 12, 2003
Format: VHS Tape
A poignant, chilling and fascinating look into what Totalitarianism does to the human mind, and how it destroys innocent lives.
Ivan, played by Tom Hulce, is a simple-minded projectionist, who is devoted with all his heart and soul, the Communist Party and its leaders, first and foremost, the mass murderer Stalin.
He gets a job working for Stalin and his Ministers, and cannot see that this is the heart of evil.
Lolita Davidovich plays the role of his beautiful young wife, Anastasia, who is also a wonderful person, who cannot live in such an evil society.
The humanity of her relationship with the little daughter of their neighbors (Katya), the Kupermans (executed as enemies of the people) is extremely touching, but cannot survive the cruelty of the Communist system.
It is essentially a human drama, not a political movie, but humanity is destroyed in totalitarian systems, and after we see the suffering it has caused, we see how the old Professor in Ivan�s apartment is on the mark when he observes how �Satan is; living in the Kremlin�
In regard to Katya�s fate, the movie asks us �how many Katyas are there?�
Indeed how many innocents where destroyed by Communist dictatorships around the world.
At universities around the world, the human cost of this system does not interest the academics, who have no time for ordinary humans.
It is left to the survivors to pick up the pieces, and the victims forgotten�
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By J. C Clark VINE VOICE on September 22, 2010
Format: VHS Tape
Not the cartoon evil, or Hitler evil, so popular in cinema. This is an incredibly powerful, unbelievably subtle, film. The other reviewers here are spot on; this is a gorgeous portrait of how evil utterly destroys all who even brush against it. Stalin, after Mao probably the greatest murderer in history, is here a genial guy who likes to gather his buddies and watch movies. Yet the results of the pals and their friendly evenings together are shown so gloriously that you watch on the edge of your seat, awaiting the disaster that you know must arrive.

And how the world acts in fright to keep those soirees pleasant. Fear stalks every person here. Every conversation might be overheard, every misguided look might send one to the firing squad. But no actual murders are necessary to tell the tale. No freight trains full of Siberia bound prisoners. No harrowing views into the Lubyanka. The faces, the dialog, the orphanage, the vast expanses all assemble a scathing portrait of pervading, ever-present, terror. There is no escape, save death. No alternative; this is the only world anyone can imagine.

Just a beautiful (if that word can be appropriate for an evil unimaginable to us) look at grotesque men who create a world where everyone is subordinate to an idea. What a great theme. Anyone watching?

Available on DVD, just not from Amazon. And worth the hunt.
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