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The Latest DVD
Gorky Park


By Steve Vivona

Three mutilated bodies have been found in Moscow's Gorky Park. The case is given to Arkady Renko (William Hurt) a disillusioned police officer who immediately suspects this is more than a simple homicide. Renko believes this is a case for the KGB and that it has been given to him in the hopes it will be solved quickly.

However Renko does just the opposite. He methodically investigates the case and begins to unravel a conspiracy that reaches the highest levels of the local Moscow government. Added to the mix is William Kirwill (Brian Dennehy) a New York cop who believes his brother was one of the murdered trio. Kirwill dogs Renkos heels but the pair soon form a grudging partnership.

Renkos best lead is a young woman who reported her ice skates stolen in Gorky Park the night of the murders. Irina Asanova (Joanna Pacula) is a beautiful young woman with many secrets. Renko is captivated by Irina even though she refuses to cooperate in his investigation. She does help lead him to Jack Osborne (Lee Marvin) an American businessman dealing in expensive Russian pelts. Despite being an American Osborne is very cozy with the local politicans and Renko believes he may be wrapped up in all of this.

It soon becomes apparent that no one wants Renko to solve this crime but he is determined to uncover the corruption that permeates the Russian government even if it costs him his life.

William Hurt was at his peak in the early eighties when "Gorky Park" was released. He gives an intense performance (my only complaint is his complete lack of a Russian accent) and goes a long way in portraying the disdain the Russian police have for Communist party officials and especially the KGB. Justice is never served by them. They serve the will of a few old men who oppress the people in the name of the high ideals of Socialism.

MGM has served up a fine transfer for "Gorky Park." The original elements are in great shape and the image is sharp and free from grain. Colors are strong and vivid and the soundtrack is free from any distortion. A theatrical trailer has been included as well.