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Two for the Road

“Havana” and “The Russia House” are both headed for the countries that inspired them.

While MGM gets ready to release “Russia House” here Wednesday, the distributor is working on plans for theatrical distribution in the Soviet Union of Pathe Entertainment’s film adaptation of John le Carre’s spy novel.

“Nothing is firm” and MGM isn’t yet discussing details, says a spokeswoman.

Meanwhile, Le Carre’s book will be published in the Soviet Union, “a first” for the writer, his agent tells us. Also something of an irony: The novel revolves around a dangerous attempt to smuggle a book of military secrets out of the country for Western publication.

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Now being translated, “Russia House” will also be excerpted in two Russian literary magazines, according to agent Amanda Urban.

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Commerce with Cuba is forbidden under U.S. trade restrictions, but producer-director Sydney Pollack took “Havana” with him when he left last week for a screening at the Latin American Film Festival in the capital city. The film chronicles the adventures of an American gambler (played by Robert Redford) who falls hard for a political firebrand (Lena Olin) on the eve of Fidel Castro’s revolution.

Pollack is also showing “The Fabulous Baker Boys,” which he produced.

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