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I was wondering what the first movie (made in USA) was where a character speaking Russian was played by an actor for whom Russian was a fluent (though not necessarily first) language, spoken with no noticeable accent?

Please note that this question explicitly excludes cases where the character was an non-Russian speaker who could speak Russian (such as Jack Ryan from "Hunt for Red October").

(the impetus for this was the wonderful Scottish-accented Connery's Captain Ramius and remembering my WTF upon hearing the accent).

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"... spoken with no noticeable accent" - no noticeable Russian accent, or American, or what? – Hugo Aug 12 '12 at 15:34
@Hugo - Russian speech without non-Russian (e.g. American) accent. In other words, a russian speaker hearing the movie would 100% be sure that the speaker is a native russian speaker. – DVK Aug 12 '12 at 16:54

This is a hard (if not impossible question to answer, seeing that many early films have been lost in fires etc.) but I will try point you in the right direction. Seeing as dialog is a factor in your question the film must have been made after 1927, when the jazz singer was announced as the first "talkie".

Then we have a span of 11 years where the movie you are looking for could have been made until 1938 when HUAC (House Un-American Activities Committee) released a report on communist activities in Hollywood and started the HUAC-hearings. We can not be sure, but there was propably no features during this period with russian (or russian speaking) actors. After that period I know of a movie made in 1966 whit a serbian actor speaking russian, Milos Milos in The Russians Are Coming, the Russians Are Coming directed by Norman Jewison, but I have a hard time thinking this would be the fist one.

Also, it is likley that if such a movie was made during the HUAC-hearings it might have been an independent production and hard to track.

I hope this information will be of help.

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How's HUAC related? I fail to see how HUAC would object to either a character who was Soviet Villain or anti-communist fighter (contemporary or pre-revolution); nor an actor from White Guard pre-soviet ancestry. – DVK Mar 8 '12 at 12:12
I belive that during the period a non-russian actor speaking russian would be chosen for the role because of paranoia, but as i wrote earlier, these are only speculations to point you in the right direction. – Sergei Mar 8 '12 at 13:01

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