Two Soviet sailors, Peter and Sergei, go ashore in Liverpool to spend one night on the town. Peter can speak a minimal amount of English but it’s enough to make contact with two Liverpudlian natives, Elaine and Theresa. Elaine and Peter immediately fall in love with each other, but the night is short and they must leave with the ship. Elaine can’t forget him and writes a letter to Soviet General Secretary Leonid Brezhnev, asking him to make it possible for them to reunite.
Letter to Brezhnev is a 1985 British romantic comedy film about working class life in contemporary Liverpool. It was written by Frank Clarke and directed by Chris Bernard. It starred Alexandra Pigg, Margi Clarke, Alfred Molina, Peter Firth, and Tracy Marshak-Nash (credited as Tracy Lea). Letter To Brezhnev presents Margaret Thatcher’s high-unemployment Liverpool as a dangerous and near hopeless city.
Two Liverpool young women, Teresa and Elaine, meet two Russian sailors, Sergei and Peter, and hook up for a night of fun and frolics. Teresa is looking for sex and a smile, Elaine wants love, romance and the dream of a life far away from the grime of the Liverpool docklands.
Amongst other themes, it reflects the constraints on working class women’s dreams. It also shows that many people do not get the chance to aspire to anything other than the humdrum lives they find before them as they walk away from school. Some of the characters worked in what they called “the chicken factory”, a slaughterhouse.
For the soundtrack for the movie Sandie Shaw re-recorded the song “Always Something There to Remind Me”. Also on the soundtrack was the Bronski Beat song “Hit That Perfect Beat” which was a hit in Australia and the UK.
Letter to Brezhnev (1986)
Directed by: Chris Bernard
Starring: Peter Firth, Alfred Molina, Tracy Marshak-Nash, Alexandra Pigg, Margi Clarke, Susan Dempsey, Carl Chase, Sharon Power
Screenplay by: Frank Clarke
Production Design by: Lez Brotherston, Nick Englefield, Jonathan Swain
Cinematography by: Bruce McGowan
Film Editing by: Lesley Walker
Costume Design by: Mark Reynolds
Makeup Department: Viv Howells
Music by: Alan Gill
Distributed by: Channel Four Films
Release Date: May 2, 1986