Martin Cruz Smith's bestselling mystery novel
seemed ideal material for a movie version, but in Gorky Park
director Michael Apted and the usually reliable writer Dennis Potter couldn't quite solve the problem of taking the story from page to screen. William Hurt plays Renko, a Cold War-era Moscow police detective who must cope with both crooks and Communist party protocol as he tries to solve a murder case in the middle of one of Moscow's public parks that leaves three faceless corpses. The strands of the mystery involve corruption, American money and the fur trade and, ultimately, take Renko to New York. But the tension is never all there, despite a deliciously menacing performance by Lee Marvin as the bad guy and Brian Dennehy as an American cop who becomes Renko's ally. --Marshall Fine
When three murder victims are discovered in the snow of Moscow's Gorky Park - stripped of their faces and fingertips to make identification impossible - Russian detective Arkady Renko (William Hurt) is called in to investigate. He follows a trail which leads to two suspects: American fur trader Osborne (Lee Marvin), and the beautiful Irina (Joanna Pacula), a girlfriend of one of the victims and the woman that Renko himself once loved.
From the Back Cover
Murder, seduction and intrigue in the Kremlin! Written by Dennis Potter (Pennies From Heaven
) and directed by Michael Apted (The World is Not Enough
), from a Martin Cruz Smith novel, Gorky Park
is a gripping and brilliant classic! Starring William Hurt, Lee Marvin, Brian Dennehy and Joanna Pacula, this crisp, intricate thriller takes you behind the Iron Curtain! When three murder victims are discovered in Moscows Gorky Park their faces and fingertips removed detective Arkady Renko (Hurt) is determined to identify the bodies and find the killer. But as a picture of the victims takes shape, the clues point towards involvement not only of the KGB but also of the woman he loves, Irina (Pacula). Now, hunted by the secret police and confronted by an intricate web of deception and treachery reaching to the highest political levels, Renko will stop at nothing to uncover the truth and bring the killer to justice even if it means guaranteeing his own destruction
and losing Irina forever.