It’s the 1980s – a time of massive unemployment and recession in the UK, with the Cold War still in full swing and Gorbachev, Glasnost and Perestroika still some years away
Two Soviet sailors, Peter (Peter Firth) and Sergei (Alfred Molina), go on shore leave in Liverpool to spend one night on the town.
Peter (the shy one) can speak a little English but it’s enough to make contact with two Liverpudlian girls they meet in a nightclub – unemployed Elaine (Alexandra Pigg) and chicken factory worker Teresa (Margi Clarke).
After a night of passion, Elaine and Peter fall in love with each other, but the sailors must leave with the ship the next day to return to the USSR.
Elaine can’t forget Peter and writes a letter to Soviet General Secretary Leonid Brezhnev, asking him to make it possible for them to reunite.
Needless to say, approaching Communist leaders behind the Iron Curtain is none too popular with the British authorities, who decide to question Elaine about it.
It’s not realistic, but it’s a fun love story and a time capsule of Britain in the early 80s.
The script was written in only two weeks and the film was shot in three weeks with a budget of just £300,000.