Which American cities starred in Russian movies?

Brother 2

Brother 2

Screenshot from film
Despite thousands of miles between Russia and the U.S., the countries are constantly curious about each other’s traditions and culture. How do Russian films depict the U.S. and its people?

 

New York

America’s main metropolis is by far the most popular location for films. After the collapse of the Soviet Union, Russian film directors started to use the Big Apple as a backdrop, especially Brighton Beach.

The Russian-American comedy, The Weather Is Good on Deribasovskaya, It Rains Again on Brighton Beach (1992), shows KGB and CIA agents working together to take down the head of a Russian organized crime group in the U.S., and whose local headquarters is on Brighton Beach, an area where many Soviet émigrés live. 

Weather Is Good on Deribasovskaya, It Rains Again on Brighton Beach. / Screenshot from filmWeather Is Good on Deribasovskaya, It Rains Again on Brighton Beach. / Screenshot from film

KGB agent Fyodor Sokolov arrives in Brighton Beach to fight the Russian mob, (17 minutes), and the film shows him walking on the streets and selling Russian souvenirs to make some American dollars.

The Russian spirit is everywhere, and he eventually finds the criminals at Langeron restaurant (242 Brighton Beach Ave), the favorite dining place of the Russian mob (18 min 19 sec).

Weather Is Good on Deribasovskaya, It Rains Again on Brighton Beach. / Screenshot from filmWeather Is Good on Deribasovskaya, It Rains Again on Brighton Beach. / Screenshot from film

In 2000, Russian audiences once again saw Brighton Beach in the film, Brother 2. The neighborhood was no different – the same Russian shops, same Russian restuarants and the same Russian émigrés.  The film’s main character, Danila Bagrov, arrives in the U.S. to help his friend’s brother, an NHL player, who has troubles with the Ukrainian mob. The movie shows how Danila walks along the streets amazed by the U.S., (1 hour 04 min).

 Brother 2. / Screenshot from film Brother 2. / Screenshot from film

Then he buys an old car in Brighton Beach and drives to Chicago, but it breaks down just outside Pennsylvania. Fortunately, he meets a truck driver, Ben, who takes him to Chicago.

 Brother 2. / Screenshot from film Brother 2. / Screenshot from film

In the crime comedy Shyrly-Myrly (1995) New York is the favorite place of the American mob, with Russian roots, of course.

Shyrly-Myrly. / Screenshot from filmShyrly-Myrly. / Screenshot from film

The new movie, Love and the City (2009), shows another New York – it is very attractive and a magnificent place where Russians are tour guides, dentists and even fitness instructors. (2 min 35 sec)

Love and the City. / Screenshot from filmLove and the City. / Screenshot from film

And they are looking for love. What could be more romantic than a date on a hot air balloon over Central Park? (1 hour 06 min)

Love and the City. / Screenshot from filmLove and the City. / Screenshot from film

Atlantic City, New Jersey

Some scenes of the Weather Is Good on Deribasovskaya, It Rains Again on Brighton Beach (1992) were filmed in the Trump Taj Mahal in Atlantic City, New Jersey.  (42 min 46 sec)

Weather Is Good on Deribasovskaya, It Rains Again on Brighton Beach. / Screenshot from filmWeather Is Good on Deribasovskaya, It Rains Again on Brighton Beach. / Screenshot from film

Donald Trump also helped famous director Leonid Gaidai shoot his last picture, and the U.S. president is personally acknowledged in the closing credits. (1 hour 29 min 59 sec)

Weather Is Good on Deribasovskaya, It Rains Again on Brighton Beach. / Screenshot from filmWeather Is Good on Deribasovskaya, It Rains Again on Brighton Beach. / Screenshot from film

One of the KGB agent’s tasks was to uncover criminals at the Golden Duke casino that belonged to the Russian mafia. (42 min 55 sec)

Weather Is Good on Deribasovskaya, It Rains Again on Brighton Beach. / Screenshot from filmWeather Is Good on Deribasovskaya, It Rains Again on Brighton Beach. / Screenshot from film

Chicago

In Brother 2 the hero travels to Chicago to help NHL player Dmitry Gromov, and we see the streets of the Ukrainian community with Ukrainian shops and posters, and we see Ukrainian gangsters who control the area, (1 hour 08 min). Even the policemen speak Ukrainian.

Brother 2. / Screenshot from filmBrother 2. / Screenshot from film

Of course, there is a restaurant where all Russians gather, and it’s called Metropol. (1 hour 32 sec). As in the Weather Is Good on Deribasovskaya, the Russian restaurant is full of typical Russian dishes, women in furs, Soviet songs and gangsters that want to solve ‘issues’ right there.

Brother 2. / Screenshot from filmBrother 2. / Screenshot from film

As far as Chicago, the movie shows crime-infested districts with pimps, prostitutes and gun dealers, (1 hour 37 min).

Brother 2. / Screenshot from filmBrother 2. / Screenshot from film

Nevertheless, Chicago is also depicted as a very beautiful metropolis with skyscrapers that attract people from all over the world.

Brother 2. / Screenshot from filmBrother 2. / Screenshot from film

Malibu, California

The Russian-American drama, The Quickie (2001), takes place in Malibu, an area of rich and famous people. A Russian mobster retiring from "the business" decides to move to the seaside where he buys a beautiful house, (2 min 18 sec). In one of the first episodes, a helicopter carries a huge statue to his mansion.

The Quickie. / Screenshot from filmThe Quickie. / Screenshot from film

The luxury house costs $12 million and has a charming view. The New Year party has all the usual ‘Russian’ attributes, and besides the traditional feast, there are horses and gypsy songs.

The Quickie. / Screenshot from filmThe Quickie. / Screenshot from film

Fresno, California

The scene of the movie, Unfriended (2015), takes place in Fresno, California, where the suicide of a teenager took place some time ago. Her friends are trying to understand what happened, and the scenes are on the computer screen and are shown as video chats filmed on webcam.

Unfriended. / Screenshot from filmUnfriended. / Screenshot from film

Phoenix, Oregon

This small provincial town appears in American Daughter (1995). A Russian woman has left her husband and fled to the U.S. to be with a rich man. She took her small daughter, Anna, who doesn’t speak English and misses her father. 

American Daughter. / Screenshot from filmAmerican Daughter. / Screenshot from film

When he comes to the U.S., they decide to return to Russia and come up with a plan to fly from Mexico. But first, they need to get to Phoenix, Arizona. After a long trip, however, they find themselves in Phoenix, Oregon, (55 min).

American Daughter. / Screenshot from filmAmerican Daughter. / Screenshot from film

This movie shows the beautiful West Coast of the U.S., with the main characters traveling along the gorgeous ocean shore.

New Orleans

The birthplace of jazz was the scene of the criminal drama, American Heist (2014), where the main characters decide to rob a local bank. 

American Heist. / Screenshot from filmAmerican Heist. / Screenshot from film

Read more: 11 epic fails in Hollywood movies that are related to Russia

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