Moscow, 1953. After being in power for nearly thirty years, Soviet dictator Joseph Vissarionovich Stalin (Adrian McLoughlin) takes ill and quickly dies. Now the members of the Council of Ministers scramble for power.
In early-1953 Moscow, under the Great Terror's heavy cloak of state paranoia, the ever-watchful Soviet leader, Joseph Stalin, collapses, unexpectedly, of a brain haemorrhage. As a result, when someone discovers his body the following morning, a frenetic surge of raw panic starts spreading like a virus amongst the senior members of the Council of Ministers, as they scramble to maintain order, weed out the competition, and, ultimately, take power. But, in the middle of a gut-wrenching roller-coaster of incessant plotting, tireless machinations, and frail allegiances, absolutely no one is safe; not even the feared chief of the secret police, Lavrenti Beria. In the end, who will prevail after the death of Stalin?Written by
This movie was screened in the Platform section at the 2017 Toronto International Film Festival and received critical acclaim. It caused controversy in Russia and other former members of the Soviet Union, now under the aegis of the Eurasian Economic Union, and was banned from general release in Russia, Kyrgyzstan, Azerbaijan, and Kazakhstan. See more »
Vyacheslav Molotov in real life was known for his impassive, stern demeanor, while Michael Palin depicts him as emotional, somewhat cowardly, and seeming very pleasant and cheerful. See more »
[Zhukov signals that the coup is a go]
Okay, let's go catch a pig for the pot.
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Black-and-white photographs of the main characters appear over the end credits, but various figures are airbrushed out, have their faces defaced, or have other people superimposed over them, as per Soviet photos of Trotsky and purge victims. See more »