Monday, 1 April 2013

Title Sequence, Opening Credits & Scenes

St Basil's Cathedral / Red Square

Moscow, Russia

Opening shot of clouds in the sky panning downwards over St Basil's Cathedral.

"Yekaterina Orlova, Katya........ Never screwed one, never flirted with one, never even married one, who is she - the usual fat arsed frump?"
Katya (Michelle  Pfeiffer) walking across Red Square towards Revolution Square (now Manezh Square).  Kermlin Walls and Lenin Mausoleum in background.

Red Square / Manezh Square 

Moscow, Russia

Katya walking down the side of the Historical Museum on Red Square towards Manezh Square (from under her umbrella can be seen  vast expanse of tarmac with traffic  passing in both directions (either side of the Hotel Moskva).  Katya is heading for the Hotel National at the opposite end of the square.

This square was called 60th anniversary of the Revolution Square at the time of filming.   It has since been pedestrianised and now has a underground shopping Mall, topped, above ground, with fountains, sculptures and landscaping (Designs by Tsereteli - appointed by the former Mayor of Moscow, Yuri Luzhkov, favourite sculptor, Tsereteli.  

Hotel National, Mokhovaya Street

Moscow, Russia

Outside the main entrance of the Hotel National,  on the corner of Mokhovaya Street (formerly Prospekt Marksa) and Tverskaya (formerly Gorky Street).

Then inside the foyer and up the stairs to the audio-book fair being held in the hotel.  Katya hands over the notebooks to Nikki Landau - "short-arsed polish cockney sales rep"

I presume the interior shots of the hotel foyer were taken in this hotel - I have not been there and have not been able to find old pictures of the hotel interior to correspond with this scene.  The book fair scenes  - set in the National hotel were actually filmed in St Ermin's Hotel in London

Hotel National - Audio Fair

Katya takes manuscript to the British Council's audio fair in Moscow

Hotel National
(Filmed at St Ermin's Hotel, London, UK)


Katya takes Danté's manuscript to pass to Barley Blair of London publishers Abercrombie & Blair.  Unfortunately, Barley never showed up, the A&B stand is empty.  Katya convinces Niki Landau of Penguin books(?) to take the notebooks to Barley Blair.


This scene was filmed in St Ermin's Hotel in London:  I was in London in October 2013 - and I could have bagged this location if I had known about it - I was so close to the hotel at one point when I had lunch in a pub opposite St James's Park underground station.  Perhaps next time, i'll make a special journey ... just to stay in this hotel.

I must give credit here to James Luckard who has very kindly provided me with information on some of the Russia House locations.  He gave me details of this scene - shot in St Ermin's hotel (which I had presumed was filmed in the National Hotel Moscow), as well as other scenes towards the end of the film: the book fair party location (The Reading & Writing Room, One Whitehall Place, London), and Katya's apartment block (Ulitsa Verkhnyaya Maslovka 23, Moscow - behind the Petrovsky Palace on Leningradskoye Shosse).

I finally "bagged" this location in October 2015:

Interrogation Scenes and Flashbacks

Interrogation Scene

Palacio dos Condes Do Vimosio,  Rua Ivens

Barley Scott Blair interviewed for the first time by British Intelligence in a room overlooking the
Baixo Chiado in Lisbon.  


Nikki Landau's Hotel room (Flashback)

Hotel room

Nikki Landau closes curtains in his Moscow hotel room

I can’t identify this location.  I’m sure it would have been filmed in a Moscow Hotel, so I would guess that it might have been the Rossiya, National or Ukraine hotel since other scenes in the film were shot at these locations.

Briefing the Minister (Flashback)

UK Government Foreign Office
King Charles Street


Outside shot of the building, setting the scene, is at this location, but I don't know if the interior shot was filmed there.   Ned & Clive of British Intelligence, along with military and psychology advisers discuss the notebooks with the (Foreign?) Minister.

The building overlooks St James’s Park near the Churchill War Rooms.  I bagged this location in October 2013.