Meteor : Brian Keith

Brian Keith

How is it that Brian Keith was fluent in Russian in the movie? Were his parents Russian immigrants in real life, like Natalie Wood's? Anyone know? Just curious.

Re: Brian Keith

Brian Keith was always one of my favorite actors. The way he died was truly sad. His parents were American. Keith could have learned just enough Russian for the movie.

Re: Brian Keith

Natalie Wood was fluent in Russian. She could have helped coach him.

Re: Brian Keith

From the description floating around about his parents, they don't appear to be Russian immigrants. Also says that he spoke fluent Russian - but that's hard to verify. His wife set up a webiste - - but unfortunately doesn't mention anything about his Russian.

Re: Brian Keith

I'm glad someone else took note of that. His Russian was very convincing in this film.

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Re: Brian Keith

Here's the answer: Brian Keith was an American, as were both his parents. None of his family on either side knew Russian, or had any connection to Russia or Russians, so it is safe to presume that he could not have been a fluent Russian speaker.

The sentence in IMDb’s Trivia section that said that Brian Keith could speak fluent Russian in real life has now been corrected.

Brian Keith faking it as ‘Meteor’ Russian
- Daily News, Kentucky, November 13, 1979 – Copley News Service

HOLLYWOOD – Even though Brian Keith really doesn’t speak Russian, you’d never guess it when you hear him rattling away in “Meteor”.

“Unless you’re Russian,” Natalie Wood points out.

Keith’s role in the big AIP movie about impending collision between a five-mile-wide meteor and Earth is that of a Russian scientist who speaks only Russian throughout the film, and, considering the circumstances, he does it admirably.

But Natalie, who’s of Russian extraction and learned Russian when she was learning English, does it better, and, from her expertise, noted flaws in Keith’s pronunciation.

“He was wonderful,” says Natalie, one of Keith’s co-stars in the picture, “but he spoke with an American accent. However, only a Russian would notice that.”

That Keith could deliver his lines in any kind of Russian, American-accented or otherwise, was amazing, because he doesn’t know the language and had to learn his role phonetically.

Nevertheless, he not only managed to say what had to be said, but did it with appealing warmth and humor.

His performance is particularly remarkable since he was a latecomer to the cast, called in when Donald Pleasance, who’d been set, was trapped in another production which ran longer than scheduled.

“We got lucky with Brian,” says satisfied Samuel Arkoff, AIP president. “”His innuendos were wonderful.”

Having accepted the role, Keith was turned over to a Russian teacher who polished his pronunciation.

Re: Brian Keith

meinari, I suspect that Keith really could speak SOME Russian at least. I can't say that I'm fluent myself but have a Russian background and he sounds very authentic to me. He played a similar role in the 1982 mini-series "World War III". Have also read he spoke Russian with Alan Arkin off-screen while they were filming "The Russians Are Coming! The Russians Are Coming!" The statement that he was fluent in Russian is in the IMDb trivia section and has not been "corrected" as you said.