Little Nikita

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Little Nikita
Directed byRichard Benjamin
Produced byHarry Gittes
Art Levinson
Written byBo Goldman
John Hill
StarringSidney Poitier
River Phoenix
Music byMarvin Hamlisch
CinematographyLászló Kovács
Editing byJacqueline Cambas
Distributed byColumbia Pictures
Release date(s)March 18, 1988
Running time98 min.
LanguageEnglish
 
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Little Nikita
Directed byRichard Benjamin
Produced byHarry Gittes
Art Levinson
Written byBo Goldman
John Hill
StarringSidney Poitier
River Phoenix
Music byMarvin Hamlisch
CinematographyLászló Kovács
Editing byJacqueline Cambas
Distributed byColumbia Pictures
Release date(s)March 18, 1988
Running time98 min.
LanguageEnglish

Little Nikita is a cult 1988 American drama film directed by Richard Benjamin and starring Sidney Poitier and River Phoenix.

Contents

Plot

Jeffrey Nicolas Grant (River Phoenix), a brash hyperactive high school student lives in San Diego with his parents, who own a successful garden centre. Keen to fly, he has applied for entry to the Air Force Academy.

During a routine background check on Jeff, FBI agent Roy Parmenter (Poitier) finds contradictory information on his parents, making him suspect that all is not as it should be. Further investigations reveal that they may be 'sleeper' agents for the Soviet Union with a teenager son, Jeff Nicholas.

Unable to arrest them as they haven't actually done anything yet, Roy continues his investigation, and moves into the house across the street from the Grant family. He worms his way into their confidence.

He eventually confronts Jeff with his suspicions and seeks Jeff's cooperation to learn more about his family. Initially unbelieving, Jeff is soon forced to accept the facts and discovers that even his own name is fictitious, his real name is Nikita.

Roy confides to Jeff that twenty years earlier, his partner was killed by a Soviet agent, known only as 'Scuba' (Richard Lynch), and that he's still at large. It transpires that 'Scuba' is now a rogue agent, killing KGB agents one by one, including "sleepers". Meanwhile, a spy-catcher, Konstantin Karpov (Richard Bradford), has been sent from the Soviet embassy in Mexico to 'reel in' Scuba.

Jeff is captured and held as a hostage at gunpoint by Karpov, as he and 'Scuba' make their way to the Mexican border on the San Diego Trolley. Roy has also confronted them and is holding Karpov at gunpoint. At the border, the situation resolves itself; Karpov and 'Scuba' cross into Mexico, and the Grant family remain in the USA. It remains unclear what their fate will be.

Cast

Sidney Poitier and River Phoenix would team up again in the 1992 feature Sneakers.

Reception

The movie received mixed reviews.[1][2][3]

Box office

It grossed $866,398 on its opening weekend. It went on to make $1.7 million in North America.[4]

References

External links