Spinning Boris

Synopsis: Early in 1996, three Republican campaign operatives take a job in secret assisting Boris Yeltsin's reelection. Once in Moscow, they find he's polling at 6 percent with the election a few months away. While Dick Dresner wants to go home, George Gorton and Joe Shumate vote to stay. First, they must get someone's attention; they succeed finally with Yeltsin's daughter. Then it's polling, focus groups, messages and spin. Even as Yeltsin's numbers go up, the trio are unsure who hired them and whether Yeltsin's allies have a different plan in mind than election victory. When the going gets toughest, it's Gorton who puts a spin on our stake: democracy and capitalism must win.
Genre: Comedy, Drama
Director(s): Roger Spottiswoode
Production: Showtime Networks Inc.
  1 win & 1 nomination.
112 min


Can I make a call if I may?

To the United States,



- no calls.

- I was thinking...

possibly if there's any way to...

- hook that up?

- First cabin.

How do you do? You've reached

the office of George Gorton.

Tell me everything.

Hi, this is me,

George Gorton.

I'm here in Moscow,


It's June 16th 1996...

about 4PM my time.

The reason I'm calling is...

I may be killed today,

or disappear...

in which case I want the police

to know what happened.

We start where we always start.

What we're looking for

is a magic number...

one tiny positive digit that

we can spin in our favor...

and make this funeral

look like a birthday party.

Trust me, it's gonna take a little

bit of creative analysis.

But, in the immortal words

of George Herbert Bush...

- nobody said it was gonna be easy...

- Nobody was right.

Very good!

We don't want the goddamn

poll tomorrow...

we want it yesterday, which means

we better get it today...

or else I'm gonna fly up there

and rip your goddamn windpipe!

- Dick.

- Listen, Dwayne.

Dwayne, I know it's

a mock election.

I don't care. We gotta win, place

or at least show, okay?

What do you mean you don't have

any voters?

Round up some hicks

in Nebraska, bring them to Iowa...

and pay them

to vote for Wilson!

They're pig farmers.

Doesn't have to be kosher.

Oh my gosh. Look who it is.

To what do I owe?

We must be doing

something right, uh?

I don't think so, George.

Your guys got no votes...

no funds and zero party support.

Off the record...

do you really think

you can turn it around?

Off the record?

Okay, here's how we do it.

Pay attention now.

Secrets of the trade.

Put your right hand in,

put your right hand out...

put your right hand in,

shake it all about...

Next part is crucial.

Do the...

No. That's what it's all about.

We're gonna turn it around.

You're never off the record,

are you?

Like you are?

Hey, dinner tonight at eight?

How does that sound?

We can talk.

What do you think?

Really. Hello.


Yeah, hang on a second.

Let me go someplace quiet.

Of course, as long as it's

for the good of the campaign.


I'm sure you're making

the right decision.

Let me guess.

Good news.

He wants me to bend over

to Fuller.

"I feel I have to have

national presence, George.

Fuller's better positioned

for it than you are. "

Better positioned?

You've given him 20 years

of your life.

I mean, he'd be the governor

of Bumfuck without you.

This is my early

Christmas bonus.

He doesn't trust me to run

a presidential campaign.

Look, George, we're a team.

You go, we go.

No, you guys stay here.

'Cause a paycheck's a paycheck.

You know, it's a Titanic. Wilson

doesn't stand a rat's chance.

So in a couple more weeks you guys

are gonna be unemployed too.

Our sixth challenge...

is to maintain America's

leadership in the fight...

for freedom and peace

throughout the world.

"Because of

American leadership...

more people than ever before

will live free and at peace. "

and at peace.

And Americans...

Honey, that's amazing.

No, it's not. Dick Morris

wrote that damn speech.

I know Dick's voice

better than I know my own.

- You're sounding jealous.

- Why?

Just because he's whispering

into the president's...

ear while I'm sitting

on my hands...

during a major election year?

Consultant without a campaign.

There it is.

Joe Shumate.

Mr. Shumate, big pleasure.

My name is Felix Braynin.

I'm a Russian-American businessman

and I live in Sausalito.

My references are good

and long.

I faxed as we speak.

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Yuri Zeltser

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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