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The Twelve Chairs (1970)

GP  -  Adventure | Comedy  -  28 October 1970 (USA)
6.6
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Ratings: 6.6/10 from 3,556 users  
Reviews: 36 user | 25 critic

In 1920s Soviet Russia, a fallen aristocrat, a priest and a con artist search for a treasure of jewels hidden inside one of twelve dining chairs, lost during the revolution.

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(novel), (novel), 3 more credits »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
Andréas Voutsinas ...
Nikolai Sestrin (as Andreas Voutsinas)
Diana Coupland ...
Madam Bruns
David Lander ...
Vlada Petric ...
Sevitsky
Elaine Garreau ...
Claudia Ivanovna
Robert Bernal ...
Curator
Will Stampe ...
Night Watchman
Bridget Brice ...
Young Woman
Nicholas Smith ...
Actor in Play
Rada Djuricin ...
Actress in Play
Branka Veselinovic ...
Natasha
Mladen 'Mladja' Veselinovic ...
Peasant (as Mladja Veselinovic)
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Storyline

A treasure hunt. An aging ex-nobleman of the Czarist regime has finally adjusted to life under the commisars in Russia. Both he and the local priest find that the family jewels were hidden in a chair, one of a set of twelve. They return separately to Moscow to find the hidden fortune. Written by John Vogel <jlvogel@comcast.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

A wild and hilarious chase for a fortune in jewels. See more »

Genres:

Adventure | Comedy

Certificate:

GP | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

28 October 1970 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The 12 Chairs  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Mel Brooks had problems with Yugoslavian extras who did not speak English. Some extras playing museum guards were to walk through the museum ringing a bell and shouting, "Closing time! Closing time!" The extras misunderstood and walked through the scene shouting "Cloakie Bye! Cloakie Bye!" Brooks decided "Cloakie Bye" was funnier, so he left it in the movie. See more »

Goofs

Vorobyaninov's "cancellation" stamp places the event in summer 1927. A street sign shows Trotsky's name crossed off, but he was not expelled from the Communist Party until that fall. See more »

Quotes

Father Fyodor: What detail. What fine workmanship. What a gorgeous chairrrrr!
See more »

Crazy Credits

In the opening credits the title of the movie is showed in Russian first (even with a typographic error 'Dvenadzat' stchlyev'), then it changes into the english title. The same happened at the end of the credits with the words "The end" (Konez), first cames the Russian word, than the english translation. See more »

Connections

Version of I Loved an Armchair (1971) See more »

Soundtracks

L'Internationale
(uncredited)
(the soviet national anthem)
Written by Eugène Pottier & Pierre Degeyter
played at the bureau of housing and at the opening of the railroad worker house by an orchester
See more »

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User Reviews

Expect the worst
15 July 2003 | by (somewhere in cyberspace) – See all my reviews

"Hope for the best, expect the worst", as the title song goes, is exactly how I felt when I picked up my copy. Having read the original Russian novel and being a fan of Mel Brooks, I was curious how the two would come together. I was rather apprehensive, knowing how Russian literature usually suffers in translation, but hopeful that Brooks would somehow make something of it anyway. The film disappoints on both counts - there's precious little of the original in it, and Brooks isn't at his best here either. Moody is actually OK as Vorobyaninov, but the casting of Langella as Bender is just plain wrong, as he cannot possibly convey the depth and subtlety of the original character. Langella alone is enough to kill this film for anyone familiar with the book. None of the uproarious humor of the novel is anywhere to be found, while the few semi-funny visual gags are merely typical Brooks slapstick and have nothing to do with the source material. And even those aren't among Brooks' best. However, having expected the worst, I wasn't exactly disappointed. An OK little comedy, if you don't expect too much. If you want more, read the book.


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