Great movie clichés: Russians say hello

Great movie clichés: Russians say hello

Russians in movies always greet each other by their full names. Gregarious, full of vodka, and not a little chubby, they will throw their arms open to each other on first sight.

“Ah, Boris Borisovic,” one of them will say, to which the reply will come the inevitable reply, “ah, Ivan Ivanovich, my great friend.” The comes the manly embrace, before proceeding, in the words of Otto Leipzig in Smiley’s People to get “real Russian drunk.” Then the melancholia sets in.

Of course, movie Russians that aren’t chubby, gregarious and melancholic (say, Ned Beatty in The Fourth Protocol) are icy and duplicitous, like Pierce Brosnan in the same movie or Dolph Lungren in Rocky IV (the numerals make it classy). They never say hello.