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13 out of 14 people found the following review useful:

Best screen version of O.Henry

Author: hmsgroop from Samara, Russia
3 July 2001

The film has three parts, each of them a screen version of "The Roads We Take", "The Ransom of Red Chief" and (sorry, I forget the exact title) a story of a burglar suffering from rheumatism who stumbles into the owner of the house he attempts to rob, and he happens to be a rheumatic, too. The film has an all-star cast. I've never seen anybody better than Vitsin as Sam and Smirnov as Bill, and the kid is simply holy terror, absolutely unrivalled. Though the film is black-and-white, it doesn't spoil the film any. Side-splitting and a real pleasure to watch the actors play.

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10 out of 11 people found the following review useful:

ripping and innovative

Author: Ivan Denisoff from Russian Federation
13 March 2006

This is a nice troika of films each of them is screening of some story by O'Henry. All movies were made with humor and what is also important with great respect for the source. But i want particularly dwell on the first movie,'The Roads We Take'. I think that many cinematographic discoveries and means were used in this movie two years before they were shown in Sergio Leone first movie of his famous trilogy. Close-ups, black humor, unusual perspectives -- 'The Roads We Take' is very innovative in this sense. In my opinion this movie is a genuine masterpiece, Gaidai foresaw many things which then used and developed by Leone. i rate this trilogy or troika as i called it above by 9,5 Such a shame that this masterpiece is not well-known in the West.

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

'Delovye lyudi' (1962) or, 'Strictly Business'

Author: mfnmbessert-224-279128 from United States
14 February 2012

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

'Strictly Business' or, 'Delovye lyudi' which I'm assuming is the Russian translation into English characters for the IMDb, is one of those virtually unknown masterpieces, as it seems, being that it has but two votes and reviews as of this writing. The film is actually a trio of stories, however they really seem to flow nicely into one another. The first two segments are very promising and hold the viewer's interest well, displaying O. Henry's unique style and range of writing, which is something that you can clearly see he has passed down to countless writers, Stephen King being the most successful. His talents as a writer were clearly diverse in being able to write stories that invoke so many different emotions at once, one after another as if you were really living it. The black and white aspect doesn't bother me one bit, although it's slightly puzzling because color film was available at the time, and the film doesn't ever come off as being too cheap to have been available to afford color print.

The film is delightfully light-hearted and slapstick comedy a lot of the time, but there are certain images which are scary, and I would say remain frightening even to this day, fifty years after the film was made. It's like watching Buster Keaton in 'The General' hanging out with a couple of Russian cowboys, and that bratty kid from 'Willy Wonka And The Chocolate Factory' remixed with hints of 'An Andalusian Dog'. That being said, I thought the film was great, but the third story of the film is by far the longest and becomes slightly tedious to make it through to the end, when the whole time I had high expectations for some sinister twist to it. Overall, very good unknown film, and mad props to the obscure and faded Russian characters who brought us this piece of goodness. Hopefully there can be a revival in schlock like this, because it was great.


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