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Gorky Park

Year: 1983
Director: Michael Apted
Cast: William Hurt , Lee Marvin, Brian Dennehy, Ian Bannen, Joanna Pacula, Michael Elphick, Richard Griffiths , Rikki Fulton , Alexander Knox, Alexei Sayle , Ian McDiarmid, Niall O¹Brien, Henry Woolf, Tusse Silberg, Patrick Field.
Set Locations:
Gorky Park is a 1983 film based on Martin Cruz Smith’s 1981 novel of the same name. The novel is named after a Russian amusement park opened in Moscow in 1928. Michael Apted directed the film which used a Dennis Potter screenplay based on the novel. The film features a score by James Horner. William Hurt and Lee Marvin head the cast, which also includes Joanna Pacula, Brian Dennehy, Ian Bannen and Michael Elphick. Joanna Pacula’s performance as Irina was considered to be especially noteworthy.

The film tells the story of a Soviet police officer who crosses paths with the KGB whilst investigating murders of victims whose bodies have been found in the park. The victims have been brutally disfigured by having their faces cut off.

Officer Renko pursues a link to a ruthless American fur smuggler. It is this lead that takes him into contact with the KGB, with whom the smuggler seems to have close ties. The plot is thickened by Renko’s attraction for a beautiful dissident. Renko is in danger of risking everything for her as the trail leads him deeper into the heart of Moscow’s local government. Renko is nervous about pursuing the case when he realises there is a danger of a brush with the KGB, but is persuaded to continue by reassurances from his superior.

The film is set in the years prior to the era of ‘Glasnost’ of the latter half of the 1980s and offers a glimpse of Russia prior to its opening up to the world in the final decade of the millennium.

Much of the film is shot in Moscow in Russia, Helsinki in Finland or Stockholm in Sweden.  Another perhaps more surprising location to feature is the Strathclyde region of Scotland. Strathclyde is a vast area of Scotland which encompasses most of the southern part of the West Coast of Scotland, including the City of Glasgow. The city is Scotland’s largest and is legendary for its vibrant nightlife and warm hospitality. Glasgow offers many hotels and restaurants covering a wide range of styles and budgets for visitors to enjoy. There are a number of interesting destinations in the area, such as Ayr and Dumbarton , Lanarkshire and Renfrewshire. You could even take the kids to Strathclyde Theme Park in Motherwell. The Strathclyde park may not be identical to the amusement park in Gorky Park, Moscow but hopefully you may experience better weather!

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