Synopsis by Eleanor Mannikka
Presented in a series of ostensibly farcical or irreverent episodes without any particular connection to each other, and based on short stories written by Yuri Krotkov's own personal knowledge of Stalin, the Red Monarch sketches the infamous Russian dictator as something of a buffoon suffering under the responsibilities of total power. Stalin's many purges of "undesirables" that amounted to millions dead by the end of his reign are not mentioned, and Beria, the chief of the Secret Police (NKVD) responsible for those deaths, is presented in his other notorious persona, that of a vulgar skirt-chasing lecher. Episodes cover a meeting of the Politburo to go over the USSR's loss at a major basketball tournament, and an arm-wrestling context with Mao Zedong. No matter how well Colin Blakely portrays Stalin, he cannot overcome the aspects of the script that trivialize Stalin's criminal record in this failed attempt at a Mel Brooks-style comedy.