Midnight in Saint Petersburg (1996)


Midnight in Saint Petersburg is a 1996 made-for-television thriller film starring Michael Caine for the fifth and final time as British secret agent Harry Palmer.

It served as a sequel to Bullet to Beijing (1995), which had been released the year before, the two films having been shot back-to-back. Three previous films featuring Caine as Palmer were released in the 1960s, beginning with The Ipcress File.

Refer to Harry Palmer Franchise.


Harry Palmer heads a private investigation business based in Moscow. His associates are Nikolai “Nick” Petrov (Jason Connery), ex-CIA agent Craig (Michael Sarrazin), and ex-KGB Colonel Gradsky (Lev Prygunov). They take on the job of finding 1000 grams of weapons-grade plutonium stolen from the Russian government, though they do not know the identity of their client.

This leads Harry back to Saint Petersburg, where (in Bullet to Beijing) he managed to make enemies of both of the leading rival gangsters, Alex (Michael Gambon) and Yuri (Anatoli Davydov). Nonetheless, suspecting that Alex is involved, Harry talks Yuri into helping him.

As a complication, Nick’s ballerina girlfriend Tatiana (Tanya Jackson) is kidnapped by a gang working for Alex into order to pressure her father, the head curator of the Hermitage Museum, into helping steal valuable artwork for crooked art dealer Dr. Vestry (Serge Houde). Also in the mix is reporter Brandy (Michelle Burke), who turns out also to be working for Alex. Nick is captured when he goes looking for Tatiana, but manages to escape in time to assist Harry, with Yuri’s help, foil both schemes.


  • Michael Caine as Harry Palmer.
  • Jason Connery as Nikolai Petrov.
  • Yuri Limonty as Circus Clown.
  • Tanya Jackson as Tatiana Zavarzina.
  • Michael Scherer as Mafiosa.
  • Michelle Burke as Brandy.
  • Gabriel Vorobyov as Driver.
  • Michael Sarrazin as Craig Warner.
  • Michael Gambon as Alexei Alexeyevich.
  • Lev Prygunov as Colonel Gradsky.
  • Olga Anokhina as Greta.
  • Yuriy Petrov as General Kornikov.
  • Anatoli Davydov as Yuri Stephanovich.
  • Serge Houde as Dr. Vestry.
  • Ingolf Gorges as Club Manager.
  • Evgeny Zharikov as Feodor Zavarzin.
  • Vera Bykova-Pizhel as Maria Zavarzina.
  • Vladimir Yeryomin as Boris.


  • Sir Michael Caine stated in his memoir that the making of this movie and Bullet to Beijing (1995), “was my worst professional experience ever” and that he decided to quit acting during the production.
    • Jack Nicholson convinced Caine to come out of retirement to work on Blood and Wine (1996).
  • While shooting in Moscow and St. Petersburg, Sir Michael Caine and crew members received death threats from Russian crime lords.
    • Caine had to have two armed bodyguards with him at all times.

Production & Filming Details

  • Director(s):
    • Douglas Jackson (as Doug Jackson).
  • Producer(s):
    • John Dunning … producer.
    • Aleksandr Golutva … producer (as Alexander Golutva).
    • André Link … producer.
    • Edward Simons … producer.
    • Harry Alan Towers … executive producer.
    • Kent Walwin … producer.
  • Writer(s):
    • Harry Alan Towers (screenplay) (as Peter Welbeck).
    • Len Deighton (characters).
  • Music:
    • Rick Wakeman.
  • Cinematography:
    • Peter Benison.
  • Editor(s):
    • Vidal Beique.
  • Production:
    • Lenfilm Studio.
  • Distributor(s):
    • Showtime Networks (all media).
    • Ascot Elite Home Entertainment (2015) (Germany) (DVD) (release through).
    • C/FP Video (1998) (Canada) (VHS).
    • Divisa Home Video (2011) (Spain) (DVD).
    • Epix Media (2015) (Germany) (DVD).
    • Europa Carat (Brazil) (VHS).
    • Future Film (2005) (Finland) (DVD) (3-disc Ultimate Harry Palmer Box).
    • Future Film (2008) (Finland) (DVD) (1-disc edition).
    • Lions Gate Films Home Entertainment (2002) (Canada) (DVD).
    • Mainostelevisio (MTV3) (2000) (Finland) (TV).
    • Manga Films (1996) (Spain) (video).
    • Nordisk Film Home Entertainment (1996) (Finland) (VHS).
    • Paramount Home Video (1998) (USA) (VHS).
    • Pony Canyon (1997) (Japan) (VHS).
    • Umbrella Entertainment (2010) (Australia) (video) (VOD).
    • Umbrella Entertainment (2011) (Australia) (DVD).
    • Umbrella Entertainment (2012) (Australia) (TV).
    • Viacom (1997) (USA) (TV).
  • Release Date: 14 February 1996 (Norway).
  • Rating: 15.
  • Running Time: 101 minutes.
  • Country: UK.
  • Language: English.

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