Variety - 11/29/1993
"...Distinctive....A plausible picture of a rarely glimpsed area bypassed by time..."
A doublecrossed American agent is caught by the Soviets and sent to a Gulag where he plots escape over the icy tundra.
An American CIA agent in Moscow is set up by members of his own agency and arrested by Russian authorities. They convict him and sentence him to years in a hard labor Soviet Gulag. But on the way to Siberia, his train crashes and in the chaos he switches identity papers with a dead criminal whose destination was a minimum security work camp. At the work camp, the American, masquerading as the dead Russian thug, fights his way to the top of the prison hierarchy, learns native Siberian customs, and falls in love with the beautiful wife of the man whose place he assumed. But when the camp commandant realizes that he has an American spy in custody, he takes it upon himself to execute judgment -- and hides the fact that the Russian government has pardoned all political prisoners.
Prison / Prisoners |
Color by Foto-Kem.
Available for video rental in the UK.
Rated BBFC 15 by the British Board of Film Classification.
The producers claim that they paid for the use of the Russian ice-breaker ship, which appears in the film's dramatic conclusion, with a crate of cabbage.
In August of 1991, when the film was in the midst of production, the Soviet Union experienced a week-long coup that paralyzed the entire nation. Shooting ceased, and the actors and crew were promptly evacuated to the US. But after the political turmoil was over, the filming resumed with a revised script that took into account the changes in Russia's political landscape.