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    SUBJECTS — U.S./1945 - 1991 & Massachusetts;
    SOCIAL-EMOTIONAL LEARNING — Peace/Peacemakers;

    Age: 8 - 12; No MPAA Rating; Comedy; 1966; 126 minutes; Color; Available from Amazon.com.

    Description:     The time is the Cold War. A Russian submarine has run aground near an island off the New England coast and a landing party is put ashore. Its mission: to steal a boat and tow the sub out to sea. The islanders think that the sailers are the beginning of a Soviet invasion. Some want to organize to resist ... and the hilarious hijinks begin.

    Benefits of the Movie: This movie is funny on its own and children love it. When you describe for children the fear and distrust between Russians and Americans and some of the divisions among Americans during the Cold War, the film is much more amusing. "The Russians are Coming! The Russians are Coming!" is an excellent introduction to these issues.

    Possible Problems: NONE.

    Parenting Points:     Briefly describe the Cold War. See the Helpful Background section. Ask and help your child to answer the Quick Discussion Question.


Russian Navy

Benefits of the Movie
Possible Problems
Parenting Points
Selected Awards & Cast
Helpful Background
Discussion Questions:
      Subjects (Curriculum Topics)
      Social-Emotional Learning
      Moral-Ethical Emphasis
            (Character Counts)
Bridges to Reading
Links to the Internet
Assignments, Projects & Activities

WORKSHEETS: TWM offers the following worksheets to keep students' minds on the movie and direct them to the lessons that can be learned from the film. Teachers can modify the movie worksheets to fit the needs of each class. See also TWM's Historical Fiction in Film Cross-Curricular Homework Project.

    Selected Awards, Cast and Director:

      Selected Awards:   1967 Golden Globe Awards: Best Film-Musical/Comedy, Best Actor-Musical/Comedy (Arkin); 1966 National Board of Review Awards: Ten Best Films of the Year; 1966 Academy Awards Nominations: Best Picture, Best Actor (Arkin), Best Film Editing, Best Story & Screenplay.

      Featured Actors:  Alan Arkin, Carl Reiner, Theodore Bikel, Eva Marie Saint, Brian Keith, Paul Ford, Jonathan Winters, John Philip Law, Ben Blue.

      Director:  Norman Jewison.

QUICK DISCUSSION QUESTION:   During the Cold War (1946 - 1991), fears of outsiders coming to do harm to the U.S. were focused on the Soviet Union and its client states in the "Warsaw Pact." The Soviet Union no longer exists; nor does the Warsaw Pact. What does this say to you about the permanence of alliances and international rivalries? Given the fall of the Soviet Union, what would have been the benefit if the hotheads in this film had their way and some of the Russian sailors had been killed?

Suggested Response: They aren't permanent. They change, sometimes suddenly. Any deaths from this type of an incident would have been meaningless.

    Helpful Background:

    Before its collapse in 1991, the Soviet Union was extremely powerful and well armed. It was regarded in the United States as a dangerous adversary. The Russians felt the same way about the U.S.

    The Cold War began almost immediately after the end of World War II and extended until 1991. During that time, the U.S. and the U.S.S.R. armed themselves to the teeth, fought several limited wars (e.g., Korea, Vietnam, Afghanistan) and competed for global ascendency. Finally, the economy of the Soviet Union was unable to maintain the military expenditures necessary to compete with the United States. Mikhail Gorbachev, the last leader of the Soviet Union, realized that his country needed economic and political freedom. His reforms started a process that culminated in the abandonment of the communist economic and political system. The Soviet Union collapsed in 1991 when Red Army soldiers refused to move against the Russian Parliament. At that time it was protected only by Russian citizens engaged in non-violent civil disobedience. See Learning Guide to "Gandhi".


Click here for TWM's lesson plans to introduce cinematic and theatrical technique.

Reminder to Teachers: Obtain all required permissions from your school administration before showing any film.

Teachers who want parental permission to show this movie can use TWM's Movie Permission Slip.

Select questions that are appropriate for your students.

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    Social-Emotional Learning Discussion Questions:


    See Quick Discussion Question.


Teachwithmovies.com is a Character Counts "Six Pillars Partner" and uses The Six Pillars of Character to organize ethical principles.

Character Counts and the Six Pillars of Character are marks of the CHARACTER COUNTS! Coalition, a project of the Josephson Institute of Ethics.

    Bridges to Reading: None.
  MOVIES ON RELATED TOPICS: Dr. Strangelove and Seven Days in May .

    Links to the Internet: None.

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