“The Russians are coming, the Russians are coming” – an apology of detente

  • Ivan Kovačević Department of Ethnology and Anthropology Faculty of Philosophy University of Belgrade
  • Vladimir Ribić Department of Ethnology and Anthropology Faculty of Philosophy University of Belgrade
cold war, detente, USA, Soviet Union, film, The Russians are coming, the Russians are coming


The 1966 film The Russians are coming, the Russians are coming is a film which promotes the politics of detente in America. After cold war era films in which the Soviets are exclusively portrayed as spies endangering America, this is the first film to portray them as positive characters, while ridiculing those who propagate war and confrontation. After the Cuban crisis and the process of stopping the spread of nuclear weapons it was necessary to show the American public the funny face of detente. In the comedy about sailors from a stranded Soviet submarine confrontation is always possible but us avoided through solidarity and communal efforts. This apology of detente, intended to calm the cold war situation and anti-war lobbies in America is one-sided, because there weren’t any such films on the other side. What happened over there during the detente period is evident by the following decade in which the largest number of military interventions by the Soviet and Cuban armies around the world occurred.


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