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 »
A miserable conman and his partner pose as Santa and his Little Helper to rob department stores on Christmas Eve. But they run into problems when the conman befriends a troubled kid, and the security boss discovers the plot.
Billy Bob Thornton,
An undercover state cop who has infiltrated an Irish gang and a mole in the police force working for the same mob race to track down and identify each other before being exposed to the enemy, after both sides realize their outfit has a rat.
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 <email@example.com>
"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 they are playing in the snow in front of the dacha, the fake tattoos come off and smudges of ink are visible on the fake Docent's torso. None of the criminals seem to notice. 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.
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