Twelve Chairs (12 stulyev) (1971)

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It is 1927, and a former noblewoman's son-in-law (Sergei Filippov) hears from her deathbed that during the revolution, ten years ago, she hid the family jewels in one of a set of twelve chairs. He teams up with a charming con man (Archil Gomiashvili) to find all twelve. This film, told in a sly, slapstick style, holds many surprises as it recounts their desperate efforts to find the jewelled chair of the set, which has been scattered to the four winds. The story is based on the satirical Russian novel The Twelve Chairs which offered a keen, humorous depiction of certain Soviet types during the so-called NEP (New Economic Policy), which allowed certain entrepreneurial activities to take place. This novel has been the subject for many films -- including one by Mel Brooks--and was the basis for a popular Russian TV mini-series. ~ Clarke Fountain, Rovi

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