The Experts (1989 film)

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The Experts
The Experts (1989 film).jpg
Directed byDave Thomas
Produced byMarylin Black
Diana Greenwood
Jack Grossberg
James Keach
Jonathan D. Krane
Written byNick Thiel
Steven Greene
Eric Alter (screenplay)
Steven Greene
Eric Alter (story)
StarringJohn Travolta
Arye Gross
Kelly Preston
Music byMarvin Hamlisch
CinematographyRonnie Taylor
Edited byBud Molin
Distributed byParamount Pictures
Release date
  • January 13, 1989 (1989-01-13)
Running time
94 minutes
CountryUnited States
  • English
  • Russian
Budget$3 million
Box office$169,203

The Experts is a 1989 American comedy film starring John Travolta, Arye Gross and Kelly Preston. It was written by Steven Greene, Eric Alter, and Nick Thiel and directed by Dave Thomas. During production there were several uncredited rewrites of the script performed by Thomas at the request of Paramount chief Ned Tannen.


Two hip nightclub owners from New York City, Travis (John Travolta) and Wendell (Arye Gross) are drugged and kidnapped while on their way to opening a nightclub in rural Nebraska. The KGB spy Cameron Smith (Charles Martin Smith) takes them to the Soviet Union, as "experts" on the "American lifestyle" with the intention of teaching KGB agents to be hip like Americans - and under the influence of drugs they think they have arrived in "Nebraska" to open the nightclub. Travis and Wendell are relocated to the phony burg of "Indian Springs", Nebraska which is actually located in the southeastern edge of the USSR near the Sea of Japan populated by Russians who "speak and act American", and where KGB trainees go to practice, but is mired in the 1950s. The KGB spy Smith is in charge of the "typical American town" constructed in the middle of the Soviet Union for espionage-training purposes and hopes that his fellow agents will learn real US culture. But things get out of control when Travis and Wendell immediately begin indoctrinating their fellow "American" neighbors in all the guilty pleasures of Yankee hedonism, turn a tiki lounge into a rock club, teach the townsfolk to dance, and introduce current pop culture. Both also flirt with local beauties. Things get dangerous when the townsfolk taste freedom, and the KGB decides to stop the experiment and get rid of the American "guests".



The Experts was a massive box office bomb; its budget was estimated at $3 million and domestic box office was only $169,203.[1] The film was also panned by the critics. On Rotten Tomatoes, the film currently holds only 26% of audience aprovation.[2] Jack Sommersby from "eFilm Critic" wrote: "No, The Experts isn't likely to inspire world peace or serve as a building block for the cure for diabetes, but it goes down well enough and never makes the mistake of having Travis or Wendell "mature" for the sole sake of doing so, and that's what makes them such a consistently-winning pair of heroes you can happily get behind."[3]


  1. ^ "The Experts". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 2 July 2017.
  2. ^ "THE EXPERTS (1989)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 2 July 2017.
  3. ^ Sommersby, Jack. "Experts, The". eFilm Critic. Retrieved 2 July 2017.

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