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You must THINK in Russian: Top 5 '80s movies set in the Soviet Union

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Published Feb. 20, 2014

Winter Olympics in Sochi? Over it! I can't stand to watch another bobsledding run or evening of ice dancing. I like my Russia like I like my vodka: ice cold, on the big screen and … well, preferably served with vodka. Here are the top 5 '80s movie set in the Soviet Union.


5. THE EXPERTS (1989): John Travolta and Arye Gross are a couple loser club promoters who believe they're being hired to open a nightclub in Nebraska. Turns out they're actually being kidnapped to the USSR, where their decadent American ways will be used to test KGB spy students. The Experts, which also co-starred Kelly Preston and Deborah Foreman, was actually filmed in Canada, not Russia. Hell, not even Nebraska. (Watch trailer)

4. MOSCOW ON THE HUDSON (1984): Robin Williams actually spent a year learning to speak Russian fluently for this movie about a circus musician from Moscow who defects while on tour in New York City. (He also actually learned to play the sax for real.) Again, Russia wasn't used for filming; Moscow scenes were shot primarily in Helsinki, Finland. (Watch trailer)

3. FIREFOX (1982): Decades before it was a web browser, Firefox was a movie starring Clint Eastwood as a retired military pilot who is recruited to go into Russia to steal a top secret plane, The MiG-31 (aka Firefox). In reality, there is a MiG-31 plane, but its nickname is "Foxhound." The movie was filmed in Vienna, Austria, and spawned a book sequel called Firefox Down. (Watch trailer)

2. ROCKY IV (1985): You know this storyline. Apollo Creed (Carl Weathers) is killed while fighting the evil Soviet boxer Ivan Drago (Dolph Lundgren), leaving Rocky (Sly Stallone) with no choice but to come out of retirement to avenge his fallen friend. Hey, and if he breaks down the Iron Curtain in the process, so much the better. The wintery training scenes were shot in Wyoming with the fight being shot in Vancouver, British Colombia. (Watch trailer)

1. WHITE NIGHTS (1985): An expatriate Russian dancer (Mikhail Baryshnikov) finds himself back in the USSR after the plane he's own is forced to make an emergency landing. There he meets a black American (Gregory Hines) who actually defected to Russia from America. This is the one movie on the list that actually was filmed partly in Russia, with certain scenes being filmed in St. Petersburg and other footage from Leningrad being supplied by a Finnish travel company. Other scenes were shot in Finland and Scotland. Baryshnikov reportedly insisted that grammatically correct Russian be spoken by actors. (Watch trailer)