The Twelve Chairs (1970)
as Ippolit Vorobyaninov
as Ostap Bender
as Father Fyodor
as Young Woman
as Engineer Bruns
as Nikolai Sestrin
as Mme. Bruns
as Actor in Play
as Claudia Ivanova
as Capt. Scriabin
as Actress in Play
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Critic Reviews for The Twelve Chairs
The premise was so good that I expected the frantic pic to be funnier and not so overwrought.
Audience Reviews for The Twelve Chairs
Although this is a much different film than Brooks' other films, having been based on an old Russian novel instead of being a spoof of another film, it is just as fun. It's very funny, the characters are wacky, and there are some good actors too. A good movie.
An art house late night weekend favorite back in the day (like Rocky Horror), a dying woman tells of a hidden treasure --- setting off a crazy cross-country race for the loot played for yucks. Sound familiar? Like Its A Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World (made 7 years prior)? Well it IS different. This chase is through post revolutionary Russia! Expect jokes about how well communism was not working, comrade. An early effort by Brooks that has some smiles in it. Hope for the best ... ( expect the worst ).
Ippolit Vorobyaninov: You're not worth spitting on!
Father Fyodor: Oh yeah? Well, you are!
Mel Brooks' second film, which involves three men all trying to get rich quick in communist Russia. A different sort of film from Brooks, which may not be as much a laugh riot as some of his others, but has a fun story and is well acted throughout.
Ron Moody is Vorobyaninov, an ex-nobleman trying to find the family jewels that his dying mother told him was hidden in one of their old fancy chairs. A very young Frank Langella enters the scene as an attractive drifter, who becomes a part of the plot to find the jewels as well, forming a sort of team with Vorobyaninov. Also entering the scene is Dom DeLuise as Father Fyodor, who is less than faithful to the lord when he too learns of the jewels to be found.
The story is very simple, but effective. It's a fun comic adventure, putting all three characters at odds with each other and leading to a lot of funny scenes. Certainly different types of humor at play, with Moody playing it fairly dry, Langella serving mainly as the straight (and very tall) man, and DeLuise offering up plenty of physical comedy.
Brooks manages to pop up in a small role as well, playing Moody's former servant, and he's of course a lot of fun. He also manages to bring a lot of his style humor to the film via many visual gags, which mostly poke fun at the setting of communist Russia.
Not much more to say beyond the fact that the film is short and sweet and I laughed.
Nikolai Sestrin: I hate people I don't like.
The Twelve Chairs Quotes
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