Title   Cast   Director   Year Shown  Other Info    Country  Notes 

England, 1983, 101 min

Shown in 1984


Jack Gold
Graham Benson
Charles Wood
Mike Fash
Laurence Mery-Clark
Colin Blakely, David Suchet, Carroll Baker, David Kelly

Red Monarch

Just after World War II, "Uncle Joe" Stalin stores flourished in England. They were commonplace and macabre, as if you had a silly old uncle who happened to have 15 million prisoners in his camps. Well, Red Monarch's just like them—the dacha-life of Joe a few years before his death. The whole politburo's there, all with versions of English accents, all of them desperate vaudeville acts hoping to survive Joe's paranoia. It’s funny and grisly—especially Beria, an Irishman red hot for billiards and women—as written by Charles Wood and directed by Jack Gold. There are some broad, backup performances from Carroll Baker as an American correspondent and David Kelly as an old associate sent to the camps once but freed now, so long as he will say yes, he does believe that Joe was once a spy for the Tsarist secret police. David Suchet is Beria and Colin Blakely is Joe, obsessed with My Darling Clementine, arm-wrestling Mao Zedong, a figure of fun but a monster too, sustaining the fearful Yevtushenko epitaph that closes this grim farce: "Double or triple the guards beside his grave so that he will not rise again."

—David Thomson