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CONSPIRACY NIGHT AT THE MOVIES: Gorky Park

Gorky Park is a 1983 mystery drama film based on the novel Gorky Park by Martin Cruz Smith. It was directed by Michael Apted. Dennis Potter won a 1984 Edgar Award for his screenplay for the film.

Three young people are seen skating in Gorky Park. Soviet militsiya officer Arkady Renko (William Hurt) investigates when their bodies are found near the rink. All have been shot in the chest and mouth and their faces and finger tips removed. Renko becomes anxious when the KGB refuse to take over the investigation. Renko traces the woman's skates to a movie set worker Irina Asanova (Joanna Pacuła) who claims that they were stolen. Based on the forensics, the doctor identifies one young man as a foreigner, likely an American. Renko asks Professor Andreev (Ian McDiarmid) to reconstruct two of their faces.


At the dacha of Chief Prosecutor Iamskoy (Ian Bannen), Renko makes the acquaintance of American sable importer Jack Osborne (Lee Marvin) who is accompanied by Asanova. Renko also crosses paths with William Kirwill (Brian Dennehy), a New York detective who is investigating the disappearance of his brother James.

Renko eventually identifies the victims: James Kirwill and two friends of Asanova. He discovers that they were constructing a chest for Osborne. Renko's suspicion of Osborne mounts following several polite but tense conversations in social settings. When a KGB officer attempts to kill Asanova with an injected overdose, Renko saves her. Nursing her, they become involved romantically although she doesn't entirely trust him. Kirwill finally finds out about Osborne's chest. It was designed to smuggle out six live sables and break the Soviet monopoly, potentially earning Osborne millions. Osborne had promised Asanova's friends to smuggle them out of the Soviet Union; he tells Asanova her friend is in Manhattan.


Renko confronts Asanova with Prof. Andreev's reconstructed head of her girlfriend, forcing her to accept they have been murdered. She confesses the plot and flees. Renko and Kirwill go to retrieve the second reconstructed head, but a KGB agent emerges with it. They follow him to Iamskoy's dacha and watch as Osborne and Iamskoy supervise the head's destruction. To Kirwill's horror, it is his brother's head, but they overhear a deal between Osborne and Iamskoy. Renko confronts Iamskoy in a bath house and Iamskoy admits that he kept Renko on the case to force Osborne to pay a larger bribe to smuggle out the sables. He offers to cut Renko in, but Renko reveals that he has recorded their conversation. Iamskoy wrestles Renko for his gun which goes off and kills Iamskoy.


Osborne flees to Stockholm. The KGB allows Renko to travel to supervise an exchange. He is to receive the sables from Osborne and kill them and Osborne. Renko meets Osborne at his apartment and finds Asanova there. She confesses that she fled to Osborne, who has included her freedom in the deal, and promises Renko that his freedom can also be included. She reveals that Osborne is planning a double cross as he has 12 sables, not just 6. Renko meets with Kirwill and they predict that, following the exchange, the KGB will kill Asanova, Renko and Osborne. Kirwill agrees to be at the exchange to help Renko and Asanova.


The next morning, Renko and three KGB agents meet Osborne at a farm. They come across Kirwill's body tied to a tree with his intestines hanging out. Osborne announces that he gutted Kirwill after Kirwill killed his dogs. Osborne produces six dead sables and asks the men to lower their weapons. Renko realizes that neither side will let the other live. When Osborne shoots a KGB agent, Renko grabs Asanova and runs for the woods. KGB Major Pribluda then kills the other KGB agent before Osborne kills Pribluda.


Osborne tries to shoot Renko who finds live sables in cages. Asanova emerges from the woods and Osborne threatens to kill her if Renko does not surrender. When Renko emerges to give up, Asanova shoots Osborne. Renko, too, shoots Osborne before Asanova kills Osborne. She asks Renko to go away with her, but Renko reveals he agreed to kill Osborne in return for her safety and freedom from the Soviet Union, and that they would both be killed if Renko did not return. Renko returns to his job in Moscow.


Renko ends up freeing the sables, which run off into the woods as we hear Asanova's voice repeat Renko's promise that they will meet again one day.


Posted by Conspiracy Cafe on January 15, 2019 at 11:49 AM 8 Views