A kindergarten director Troshkin is a dead ringer for a criminal nicknamed "Docent" who stole the priceless headpiece of Alexander the Great during an archaeological expedition. But after ... See full summary »
Shurik Timofeev builds a working model of a time machine. By accident, Ivan Bunsha, an apartment complex manager, and George Miloslavsky, a petty burglar, are transferred to the 16th ... See full summary »
A soldier of the Red Army named Sukhov has been fighting in the Russian Civil War in Russian Asia for many years. Just as he is about to return home to his wife, Sukhov is chosen to guard ... See full summary »
The hero of the film is an insurance agent who is also a car thief. He steals cars only from various crooks and never from the good people. Then he sells those stolen cars and gives all the... See full summary »
The 1975 film by Georgi Daneliya "Afonya" was an unexpected commercial hit in USSR. The main character Borshev A.N. is a locksmith who spends his free time, as well as working hours, ... See full summary »
In Italy, a dying woman tells her granddaughter that she hid her treasure many years ago in Russia, in the city of Leningrad. Other people (who were around when she died) also learn about ... See full summary »
Tonya has just graduated from the trade school and found a job as a cook in a Siberian village. She is naive but open hearted and kind. When Ilya starts flirting with her she takes it as a ... See full summary »
A wizard invents characters who all come to life and start to arrive at his house: a King, his servants, a princes, a bear trapped in a man's body - the usual lot. The Plot mainly rotates ... See full summary »
A kindergarten director Troshkin is a dead ringer for a criminal nicknamed "Docent" who stole the priceless headpiece of Alexander the Great during an archaeological expedition. But after militia "inputs" Troshkin into the criminal environment he has nothing left to do but to carefully play out the part of his "evil twin". Written by
John Isaak <firstname.lastname@example.org>
"Dotsent" is a common Russian academic title, roughly corresponding to "Professor" in the USA. The plot of a timid ordinary citizen being mistaken for a hardened criminal and becoming involved in catching the crooks goes back in US film history at least to John Ford's The Whole Town's Talking (1935), a comedy-drama that starred Edward G. Robinson in a similar dual role. See more »
When Troshkin is being hit by Mikola in prison, Troshkin's pants already have a dirt mark in the back, most probably from rehearsals. See more »
The Soviet prison system might not be high on many people's lists of good starting laces for humor, but this comedy winds up being often very funny nonetheless.
This basis is a classic fish-out-of-water premise, wherein a kindly kindergarten teacher happens to look uncannily like a a notorious criminal who has collaborated in stealing a priceless Macedonian gold helmet. The authorities' plan -- only just past the boundary of realism -- is to give him a wig and some false tattoos, and enlist him to help find the helmet. And this, of course, leads to all sorts of awkward situations, which are played for a deadpan absurdity that sets a great tone.
It's also interesting for its view (through a comedy lens) of the Soviet prison system and criminal life at this time, as well as its central Asian setting. Apparently, a good amount of actual contemporary underworld slang from the time was included (which our hero has to learn like a second language). Through the humor, criminals are nonetheless treated as human characters, who are wistful at having been divorced from a normal life and family, rather than completely villainous reprobates.
A very entertaining picture in all, with both likable cops and largely likable robbers as its characters. Recommended.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?