Brilliantovaya ruka (1969) Poster

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Bright and honest snapshot of the socialist society.
voldemar-129 December 2001
It is a crime film with no cruelty, that presents a bright and very honest snapshot of the everyday life of an average soviet citizen and of his morale. The invasion of the capitalist valuables into the socialist society produces very funny situation. The film is not ideologically inclined: You feel sympathy towards both victims, criminals and police. You laugh both at human greediness, vices of the bureaucracy and the naivety of average Russians of that time. The film itself has influated the Russian language. Many of witty phrases from this film have already become proverbs.
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The best Russian comedy ever
Nikita A. Davydov21 December 2005
Perfect from the first till the last minute. Not a single word in this movie said in vain - this is absolute masterpiece of comedy. But I do not believe that it is possible to translate it properly into English - so, you have to know Russian language (and you've got to have a good idea of Russian realities of 70th) to be able to fully enjoy it. This movie was, I believe, the first soviet comedy which contained a short "sexual" scene (topless actress shot from behind). Many lines from this film are now living their own lives - you can hear quotations on TV, in people talks, in other movies - while some of those who uses it do not remember the words origin. Must have, must see - anyway!
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The funniest Russian comedy
Oleg Sinitsin18 September 2006
A regular guy goes on a cruise abroad, gets mistaken for a mafia courier and receives a load of diamonds in the bandage on his broken arm. Mafia tries to return the goods, KGB tries to catch mafia, and our hero struggles in between. Tons of great humor. Many jokes from this absolutely hilarious comedy have made it into everyday language. I would like to invite visitors to see pictures from the movie and watch a detailed trailer at Those who read Russian can find more materials useful: reviews, actor biographies, articles, etc.


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Gets better every time I see it.
metalistik1 September 2002
This is a comedy that stood the test of time. I've recently bought the newly released DVD of this movie and it's worth every penny. Of course I've seen this comedy a million times on TV and video, but the DVD makes this funny in a whole new way. I believe that even english speaking audiences will love this flick if they get the DVD. The translation into English is superb. Speaking Russian myself , it's actually very funny to hear this Soviet cinema classic translated into English , having seen it only in Russian before. Now , I believe that even our friends in Turku, Finland would find this film funny. Mironov , Nikulin and Papanov give superb comical performances by any standards. And the actors who's voices are used to dub this film into english are an excellent match. What can I tell you, go to your nearest Russian video store and get this DVD, you'll love it.
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A very good film
hannu222 May 2005
I like this movie. Like all other Gaidai's films I saw, its very dense in humor, without empty gaps. For a non Soviet, it can give some insight to this country. Well, it helps if you have some background knowledge, like I have. the film is surely as critical as was possible, but the main thing is that it gives you a good feeling, laugh helps to forget bad things. My favorite is the scene in the restaurant, it shows the joy of drinking in a good company, I think Russian people really can create a good party. The music is also nice, Andrei Mironov is superb on the ship with his song about island of unlucky people in ocean. He also commented afterward his role i such a film: it is good to have one diamond arm, two is too much, tree is a catastrophe.
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One of the best Russian comedies
Michel Bozgounov29 July 2004
I watched this movie as a small boy. I liked it. Then I watched it again, as a bigger boy. I liked it again :) Then I found it nowadays on video... was tempted to watch it again... and liked it again :-)

This is classics! It's good! It's... yes, it's way too Russian......but because I know Russian language, and Russian culture a bit, too, I could understand almost all of the movie's plot, and jokes, and sometimes (too Russian?;) humour.

The movie is real good. It has good plot, good acting, it's directed good, it has good music... I've given it 9/10 stars. It's worth watching! But... beware - maybe you wouldn't understand it. Because it's way too Russian? Maybe. Well, you can try, at least...

I really enjoyed it:)

One word-summary: recommend! ...for whoever want to try it:)
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Full of Brilliant catch phrases
audrius-darguzis3 August 2004
It's simply the best comedy ever made by anyone. Even the best Russian - or as some say - Soviet comedies don't stand even close to it. Well, maybe 12 Stools or The Golden Calf... There are dozens of catch phrases and extremely hilarious moments - you can talk to a any friend who saw it all night and laugh about it all anew. You can watch this comedy on and on and on. Every time it gets even more funny! ... " - Hey, stupid, what for did you shave the mustaches? - Off whom?" ... " - There, in London, the dog is the man's best friend... - Well, maybe a dog is a man's best friend over there, but here the Upravdom [a Soviet one certain household's members union] is a man's best friend." And so on... Brilliant!
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Better than 'armless
hte-trasme9 October 2013
After watching "Brilliantovaya ruka" I can well believe that it's with very good reason that it has such a beloved reputation among Russian language comedies. The vibe it generates it of an extremely high level of breezy fun, and it sustains that with supernatural consistency all the way through.

Combine that with an abundance of simply good jokes drawing from farce, slapstick, and everything in between. The performances are just the right level of broad to pull the maximum number of laughs. The almost constant underscoring perfectly compliments the fact that the pacing is masterfully timed and the fact that all the location filming simply looks fantastic to make this one of the most all-around fun viewing experiences you could imagine.

Moments such as the walking-on-water, the set-up seduction, and the division of the "two parts" are among hilarious moments that also draw in character for their humor and even border somewhat on what might be called "Pythonesque" in style. At the same time, roots in the best of silent comedy, farce, and adventure film are happily evident.

I can easily image how this comedy would reward reviewing, which it evidently for many other commentators here.
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non-Russians need not bother
SMalamud17 September 1999
This movie was never intended for foreign audiences. It is simply way too Russian (or too Soviet, actually) to be funny for anyone not familiar with the realities of local life. Most of the real comedy comes from Mironov and Papanov, who play hilarious villains on the track to recover stolen jewels, mistakenly put into Nikulin's arm cast. Russian-speaking audiences will enjoy Papanov's one-of-a-kind "Ukrainian" accent, but the jokes are too ethnic for anyone else to understand. Nikulin (a circus clown turned great comic actor) isn't particularly believable in an unfamiliar role of a good guy (his characters usually also were drunken and hilarious crooks), but turns in an adequate performance. Mironov is at his usual fast-talking, silly self, and Papanov is a riot. Mordyukova steals several scenes in a small role of a house superintendant, a towering woman with a thunderous voice. Overall, a terrific Soviet comedy, the kind they simply don't make anymore.
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Best of Soviet post-war comedies.
pashav28 July 2002
It's the mostly liked by the several generations of the Russian people comedy of Leonid Gaidai together with 'Operatsiya Y' and 'Kavkazskaya plennitsa', full of light irony and brilliant folksy humor of the late soviet time. The performance of the main actors (Andrei Mironov, Yuri Nikulin and Anatoli Papanov) is absolutely superb. Perhaps though it's not much appreciated amongst some high-minded intellectuals, which have their own cinema.
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The lyrics for the soundtrack
elpada28 November 2009
Here you can read the lyrics "The song about hares" in Russian (Cyrillic char set Windows 1251) from the film. Also it has the accords for the guitar.

The translation is:

"The song about hares"

In the dark-blue forest Where aspens are trembling, Where from the oaks-magicians The leaves fall - On the glade, the grass was mowed by the hares And while doing that they sang Strange words:

"So, it all is equal to us So, it all is equal to us Even though we're afraid Of a wolf and an owl. The business we have At this horrible hour - We mow magic "no care"-grass".

And oaks-magicians whisper something in the fog. Near the foul marshes someone's shadows arise. The grass was mowed by the hares - "no care"-grass" on the glade. And from horror more and more quickly They sing a little song:

"So, it all is equal to us So, it all is equal to us Even though we're afraid Of a wolf and an owl. The business we have At this horrible hour - We mow magic "no care"-grass".
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A good movie, especially for the people who are aware of the soviet society
bulya21 October 2007
Gaidai's role model was Charlie Chaplin, and therefore most of his humor is built upon silent scenes accompanied by music. This makes his movies being beloved by many generations, as the silent scenes were not done for a special group of people. However, in his later movies there is verbal humor as well, which requires you to be aware of the soviet society. Although many people considered this movie as the best of Gadai's comedies, in my opinion it is not a good introduction to Gaidai's style as it involves many scenes which require you being aware of the soviet society.

For those people who do not speak Russian, or do not aware of the life and the difficulties in the soviet society, I recommend the "Operation Y" movie to start with.
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Song about hares
alexmsq20 March 2008
That is the words of that song: Sings Nikulin itself

Also it is not usual to foreigners that curse: Live by the one salary!

Usually salaries in USSR was not very large that time. Many people had 2 or 3 salaries on 2-3 workplaces to have tolerable income.

Also house-managers had function of paparazzi, informers and Party organization mans. And the distribution of State Lottery tickets was not mandatory but strongly recommended. State possessed credits from people that way.

And in 1961 currency reform was realized. Money had been denominated by 10:1. So 500 rubles by old and new (money) were totally different sums.
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song lyrics
avalsonline14 November 2005
Warning: Spoilers
Do you know where i can possibly find the lyrics to the song sang by Nikulin at the restaurant while he was drunk. The song about the rabbits cutting the magic grass. If anybody knows a website where i can get the lyrics, preferably in Russian, please inform me, thank you. Also if anybody knows the writer or the original performer of the song, that would be helpful too. As far as the movie goes i loved it. A great Russian movie, a real classic. pulls no punches even in the time when USSR and US were conflicting nations. You do have to have command of the Russian language and be a little aware of the social situations at this time in history.
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everything is equal to us
Lee Eisenberg5 April 2009
Whether you consider "Brilliantovaya ruka" a Soviet version of "Get Smart" or something else, it's still a hilarious movie. Portraying a man on vacation in Istanbul getting confused for a spy, they pull just about every gag imaginable. The line "Our people don't ride in taxis" implies that only people in western countries do that (it was also a reference to the people employed as secret police in the Soviet Union). Probably the best scene is when the guy sings "A nam vsyo ravno", which in Russian means "Everything is equal to us"; that scene is comparable to the toga party in "Animal House".

Anyway, a really funny movie. They must have had fun filming it. The Jesus scene would no doubt incur the wrath of the Russian Orthodox Church nowadays.
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Diamond smuggling and laughing black cats
sol-14 January 2016
Mistaken for a professional contrabandist, a bumbling tourist is given an arm cast full of smuggled goods and inadvertently becomes a government spy after going to the police in this energetic Soviet comedy. Once voted as the funniest Russian comedy of time, 'The Diamond Arm' certainly does an impressive job incorporating various forms of humour. The first five minutes, for example, play out as a dialogue-free silent comedy, but later on there are also pratfalls, sight gags and lines that crack with wit. At its zaniest, the chief smuggler has a red tinted dream in which he is tormented by a laughing black cat (!), though the most amusing moments come from characters narrating their thoughts out loud, whether it be the protagonist's paranoia over a taxi ride or his wife's concern that he is cheating on her. Less successful are the film's attempts at satire - or perhaps this angle is just lost on a western viewer. By some accounts, the film offers a sharp and biting parody of life under the Soviet regime, but ostensibly, it is just an offbeat motion picture about things going incredibly wrong. Yuriy Nikulin (reportedly a former circus clown) does okay as a man out of his depth, wearing the much sought-after cast, but the best moments are had by Andrey Mironov as the actual contrabandist who was meant to be given the cast. Whether it be repeatedly failing to knock Nikulin unconscious during a fishing trip, being kicked in the mouth during a drunken dance or fondling the precious cast, Mironov is simply sensational in a rather thankless role.
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Kirpianuscus12 July 2015
one of comedies who preserves the flavor of a period. and reflects the sensitivity of a generation. so, it is not only a comedy but a trip in Soviet every day reality. the inspired cast, the smart use of clichés, the gags and, more important, the chaos are the best ingredients for create a lesson about the East under Communism. a film who explores situations for a fresh image of social situations. a comedy who has the gift to do different picture of a regime , using irony and the clichés , desires and nuances. a film who remains lovely decade by decade. and that fact is the basic virtue of film. so, a classic. in a special sense.
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brilliant work
Armand28 April 2014
a comedy with many virtues - the director, the script, the performance of Yuri Nikulin, the dialog and the wise manner to critic the Soviet regime. part from a long and precious Russian comedies, it seduce first for Gayday courage. because the fake crime story is a precise fresco of society. and the dialogs reflects in great measure that "sin". than, it is a deep human comedy, the small incorrect details , the use of innocence and, maybe, the end, does it a form of parable , more than satire. a film for each age, beautiful and fresh, full of emotion and laughter. an old fashion Russian film. who can reminds, in a crazy period, the importance of small real important ingredients of life.
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Brilliantovaya Ruka
grob24830 September 2000
The last time I saw it was something like 10 years ago. Just recently I watched it again and was tempted to write about it. The physical humor here doesn't stand the test of time very well, and will bring nothing but a smirk to the faces of the young audiences, Russian and non-Russian alike. However, for the older generation, the names of Nikulin and Mironov are rather sacred, so there is no dispute about this film being considered a Soviet classic. Admittedly, the majority of the film's acclaim nowadays rests on the element of nostalgia, but not entirely. The duo of clumsy crooks played by Andrei Mironov and Anatoliy Papanov come off as quite impressive even today. Papanov's character is especially picturesque, delivering loads of caustic one-liners in his one-of-a-kind dialect that are just as hilarious as they were 30 years ago. Well, at least I think so, although I guess it's one of those "you either get it or you don't"-type things. Also, already mentioned by other reviewers Nonna Mordyukova's small role as a hawkish house manager is memorable as well. Unfortunately for foreign audiences, the whole appeal of this movie is of a rather esoteric nature. So, if you are not familiar with the realities of Soviet life or with Russian cultural folklore, you will just shrug your shoulders and ask what one of reviewers below asked: "where is the humor."
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Best film
Beranto30 November 1998
Simply the BEST Russian comedy.
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Humour didn't translate for me
Leofwine_draca3 February 2017
Warning: Spoilers
THE DIAMOND ARM is a Russian comedy about diamond smuggling and one inept fool finding himself up against powers stacked against him. It's about a chap who through various plot twists ends up getting a stash of diamonds hidden inside his arm cast, and the shenanigans that follow when the gangsters to whom the diamonds belong give chase.

Unfortunately for me I didn't find the comedy in this film to be particularly funny despite the best efforts. The humour is very specific to Russia in the late 1960s and thus doesn't really translate well to a modern Western viewer. Some bits are mildly amusing and that's about it. Saying that, the film does have good production values and enthusiastic actors, it's simply that I didn't find it funny in comparison to something more slapstick-orientated and accessible like OPERATION 'Y' AND OTHER SHURIK'S ADVENTURES.
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So where's the comedy?
Kai Laine29 August 1999
Do people really laugh at custard pie scenes and "comedians" slipping on banana peels in the 90's? I certainly didn't. Try telling us some jokes, Vanya... Or was this just too Russian for me?
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