Moscow On The Hudson (1984)




Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Moscow On The Hudson Videos & Photos

Movie Info

In this film, Robin Williams stars as a Russian sax player working in a circus. His warm home life does not compensate for his feelings of repression and lost opportunity in his homeland, and when the circus comes to New York, Williams suddenly announces his intention to defect.

Rating: R (adult situations/language, nudity, violence)
Genre: Drama, Comedy
Directed By:
Written By: Leon Capetanos
In Theaters:
On DVD: Nov 27, 2001
Sony Pictures Home Entertainment


as Vladimir Ivanoff

as Lionel Witherspoon

as Orlando Ramirez

as Anatoly Cherkasov

as Vladimir's grandfath...

as Vladimir's Mother

as Vladimir's Father

as Lionel's grandfather

as Lionel's Mother

as Lionel's Stepfather

as Svetlana

as Young Frenchman

as Young Frenchman

as Veronica Cohen

as Male Clerk

as Bloomingdale's Manag...

as Herself

as Bloomingdale's Cop

as Agent Williams

as Mean Man on Subway

as Blanche

as Korean Cab Driver

as Mrs. Marlowe

as Latin Band Leader

as Dr. Reddy

as Panama Hat

as The Judge

as Uncle Sal

as Uncle Sal's Mother

as Uncle Sal's Wife

as Wild Bill Hawthorne

as Truck Driver

as Circus Performer

as Strong Man

as Animal Trainer

as Circus Clown

as Circus Clown

as Russian Officer

as Shoe Clerk

as Man at Reception

as Piano Player at Rece...

as V.A.G. #2

as Waiter at Reception

as Fat Lady at Blooming...

as Iranian

as Supermarket Clerk

as Mr. Aaron

as Counter Woman at McD...

as Russian Man

as Russian Man at Soho ...

as Leader in Russian Ba...

as Gorgeous Black Girl

as Handsome Man

as Japanese Woman

as Counter Woman at Cof...

as Mexican Dishwasher

as Chinese Customer
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Critic Reviews for Moscow On The Hudson

All Critics (19) | Top Critics (4)

Moscow would be in a lot of trouble without a superbly sensitive portrayal by Robin Williams of a gentle Russian circus musician who makes a sudden decision to defect while visiting the US.

Full Review… | October 18, 2008
Top Critic

Where it scores so highly is not only in its ability to evoke Vladimir's astonishment at the bizarre, sometimes brutal texture of New York life, but also in the generosity it extends to the musician's sad predicament.

Full Review… | June 24, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

It made me feel good to be an American, and good that Vladimir Ivanoff was going to be one, too.

Full Review… | October 23, 2004
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic

Mr. Mazursky's fictional conceits do not do justice to Vladimir or to his situation, either in the Soviet Union or this country.

Full Review… | May 20, 2003
New York Times
Top Critic

Mazuersky's fable of culture collision and assimilation has a certain charm, largely due to the acting of the young Robin Williams as a Russian immigrant.

Full Review… | January 24, 2013

As a fish-out-of-water comedy-drama, it works well.

Full Review… | November 8, 2011
Empire Magazine

Audience Reviews for Moscow On The Hudson


An insufferable vehicle for the great Robin Williams, where he portrays a Russian immigrant who defects from his country during a visit to the United States, and attempts to start a new life with his Hispanic girlfriend and African-American best friend. While Williams is spectacular and the movie itself probably has good intentions, it aims to stuff culture and diversity down the viewer's throat in a pretty insulting, juvenile way, which feels more fake and hollow than genuinely authentic. Most of all, this is just a boring movie where you get what it is trying to say about a half hour into it, but somehow this thing goes on for two hours and leaves one exhausted by the time it is over.

Dan Schultz
Dan Schultz

Super Reviewer

I don't usually go for these kind of dramas, but Williams is so loveable, and the story so heartwrenching and heartwarming, with some action and comedy thrown in, that I really enjoyed it.

Aj V

Super Reviewer

A Russian saxophone player defects and falls in love.
In this film the Declaration of Independence is quoted two separate times, the oath of citizenship is fully recited, and there are more American flags than at a political rally. Released in 1984, this film seems more like Cold War propaganda than a serious drama or comedy. The film's thesis valorizes American multiculturalism, featuring African-American, Cuban American, and Italian American (played by a Venezuelan) supporting players, and the notion that America is a tough but ultimately free refuge for people all over the world. Vladimir's immigrant experience isn't unfettered; he experiences his share of difficulties. However, the film is ultimately blindly romantic: none of Vladimir's troubles is institutional as he finds the wait time to take his citizenship oath the only impediment and the U.S. government more than accommodating. While I'll mention that most immigrants find their integration into American culture and society far more rocky, this is not the place to debate immigration policy. What is at stake is that the film comes off as wildly idealistic and myopically patriotic.
Overall, within its time, Moscow on the Hudson clearly served a specific political purpose, but now it's merely frustrating, the chronicle of a dream you have to be asleep to believe.

Jim Hunter

Super Reviewer

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