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  • Letter to Brezhnev [VHS] [1985]
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Letter to Brezhnev [VHS] [1985]

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5 used from £13.75 2 collectible from £18.99

Product details

  • Actors: Peter Firth, Alfred Molina, Tracy Marshak-Nash, Alexandra Pigg, Margi Clarke
  • Directors: Chris Bernard
  • Writers: Frank Clarke
  • Producers: Caroline Spack, Charlie Caselton, Janet Goddard, Paul Lister, Stephen Woolley
  • Format: Colour, Full Screen, PAL
  • Language: English
  • Aspect Ratio: 4:3 - 1.33:1
  • Classification: 15
  • Studio: 4 Front Video
  • VHS Release Date: 14 Feb. 1994
  • Run Time: 95 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00008T7BM
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 166,398 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Product Description

Product Description

Two Liverpudlian friends go out on the town for a big night. When they get to a disco, they meet two Russian sailors who are in the country on a goodwill mission. They both fall in love, but know that the men will have to return to their native country. A down-to-earth fairy tale which became a surprise worldwide hit.

From the Back Cover

Liverpool docklands: factories, pubs, clubs, sex and dreams. A heady combination of humour, pathos and desperation. Two Liverpool lasses, Teresa (Margi Clarke) and Elaine (Alexandra Pigg) meet two Russian sailors, Sergei (Alfred Molina) and Peter (Peter Firth) and hook up for a night of fun and frolics. Teresa is looking for sex and a smile, Elaine wants more, love, romance and the dream of life far away from the grime of ‘80s Liverpool. Elaine finds the love she craves in Peter, but he has to return to Russia. No-one wants their love to survive so she writes to Soveiet leader Brezhnev and he writes back.

The chance of a lifetime or a lifetime of chance in a Russian society no better than Liverpool? One of the all-time great British movies, a superb script from Frank Clarke and stunning performances from all the cast make this a film to treasure.

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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By cybertwerp on 4 Nov. 2007
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
More devotion than ambition seems to have gone into the making of this little film; that's quite visible. What sets it apart is that it works.

Don't expect too much nuance from "A Letter to Brezhnev". Everything seems to be expressed in stereotypes, and there are no winners; the Soviet Union is definitely the Evil Empire, but, on the other hand, so is England, especially Liverpool, under Thatcherism. There's nothing to choose between the repressiveness of one and the unemployment and poverty of the other; and, if there was an irritant here, it was the fact that the film was a bit messagey. For example, it would have been suitable for the Foreign Office interviewer to be a bit of a creep - but he was arguably too much of a creep, and one yearned for just a bit of subtlety.

The casting was good. If I had to pick out one member of the cast, it would be Alexandra Pigg as the dream-ridden Elaine, whose life seems to enfold the reverie of any not-very-exceptional working-class girl; Margi Clarke as her mate Teresa was exactly what you'd ask of Margi Clarke, Peter Firth as Elaine's Russian sailor traded a bit in sentimentality, and Alfred Molina as Teresa's was just that tiny bit too bearish. Supporting cast was wonderful.

A special note on the soundtrack. Yes, the accents certainly were authentic (I don't know Liverpool all that well, but the speech was certainly what you'd hear), and what might come across as the coarseness seemed absolutely fitting; it may seem an odd thing to say, but there are times when subtitles in standard English might have helped - notably the opening dialogue between Elaine and Tracey, where the unfamiliarity (at that point) of the Scouse speech conflicted with the traffic noise.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By BritHorrorHound on 16 Feb. 2008
Format: DVD
I don't know what it is about this film, but I never get sick of watching it.

I must have seen it over 100 times, and I always get something new out of it.

The superb music at the start of the film really sets the scene, and all the performances from each and every actor involved are life like and involving.

Having lived in Liverpool myself(before this was filmed) I obviously recognise quite a few locations that are used and I guess that's one of the reasons the film really rings a bell.

The warmth, humour and hope of scousers are all perfectly captured in this film, and I don't think it would be the same had it been made anywhere else.

Sadly, the Liverpool of today seems to be changing into another identikit city with the same old shops,chain restaurants etc, so this is a great way to remember a unique,individual city.

At the end of the day, I guess I'm just a hopeless old romantic, and it's the thought that love will conquer all, that makes me love this so much.

Finally,I'd still love to see a sequel as long as Alexandra Pigg and Margi Clark were involved!
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20 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Ms. H. Sinton on 28 April 2005
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This was a surprise hit in the early 80's as no-one expected such a low budget movie, featuring unknown actors, to make any impact on the viewing public. However, against all odds, Letter to Brezhnev was a huge hit thanks to its heart-warming yet poignant story of an 'ordinary Kirby girl' who falls in love with a Russian sailor.
Pieter and Sergei are two sailors whose ship has berthed in Liverpool overnight. They decide to visit a local club where they meet two local girls, Elaine and Teresa who are out for a good time. The chemistry between Elaine and Pieter is immediately evident and they decide to spend every moment together before Pieter has to rejoin his ship to Russia. Love blossoms and the young couple vow that somehow they will be together no matter what. Thereby lays the films title as Elaine is encouraged to write to the Russian premier (at that time Leonid Brezhnev) and ask him to allow her to be reunited with her love. There is plenty of light relief thanks to Margi Clarke's excellent portrayal of Teresa, an original 'good time' girl and her relationship with none-English speaking Sergei (Alfred Molina in an early role).
Sure the movie has its unbelievable moments....would the foreign office really go to such lengths to keep Elaine from travelling to Russia for example...but isn't escapism the point of movies? The major downside of this DVD is that no effort has been made to clean the picture or sound quality, it's pretty much as it was on VHS. There are no extras, not even subtitles for the hard of hearing which smacks of laziness on the part of the distributors. In other words, if you already have this film on video it really isn't worth getting the DVD however if you don't already own it then it is worth purchasing just for great movie that is Letter to Brezhnev.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Chairgirl on 14 Jun. 2006
Format: DVD
A goodish girl is on a night out, meets up with her good time female friend, ends up in a night club and meets then man of her dreams.

Unfortunately, he is a sailor on a 48 hour pass. But the problems don't stop there. He is also Russian.

Originally filmed when Brezhnev was Russia's premier, but released after he died, the 'iron curtain' hadn't yet been 'opened'.

Without going into detail of the writers, producers, directors and who was related to who, this film is a true fairytale of love can overcome any obstacle.

I have loved this film since I first saw it at the cinema way back in the eighties. Alex Pigg brushed off her Brookside role, a lot of us first met Margie Clarke and Alfred Molina, and welcomed back Peter Firth after his stint in the Double Deckers.

To me, this film was, and is, a true depiction of Liverpool, the 1980s and true love will out!

I'm still waiting for the sequel though.
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