A former aristocrat Ippolit Vorobyaninov leads a miserable life in Soviet Russia. His mother-in-law reveals a secret to him - she hid family diamonds in one of the twelve chairs they once ... See full summary »
Middle-aged Kruglikov has spent many years exiled in a hamlet in Jakutsk, in remote eastern Siberia, where he keeps a post house, hiring horses to travellers.
While sheltering from the bitter wind howling outside his inn, Kruglikov recalls his youth and his reason for being there when asked by some passing guests. He was sent there as punishment for shooting an old general - whom he served - who openly started courting Kruglikov's beautiful fiancé and humiliating him, convinced of his superiority and ignoring the young lovers' wishes.
A classical Soviet tale focusing on the clash between the old regime and the beginning of the revolutionary movement, between duty, rigid morals, cowardice, and the desire to flee from it all, fuelled by first love.
In the end, the young heroes are separated and have a difficult life of sacrifice, but they are meant to pave the way, through their moral integrity, for the happiness of future generations. Given the year when it was made, 1956, it inevitably contains some Soviet propaganda. Still, some universal themes make it worth watching.
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