A young student Shurik comes to a remote mountainous region in search of ancient legends and traditions. Fooled by the corrupt local governor, he helps him to kidnap a beautiful young girl, but soon realizes what he's done.
In this comic story, nerdy Shurik travels to the Caucasus in search of native legends and folklore. But what he finds is a beautiful girl whom, due to intoxication and deceit of the local "gang", he ends up literally stealing for the local deceitful governor. All the time Shurik thinks that it is all just a one old Caucasian custom. When he, finally, realizes what he did he goes out in search for the girl of his dreams.Written by
Ptah Hoteb <email@example.com>
The censors of Goskino had decided to prevent the film's release but Leonid Brezhnev, who was sworn in as the Soviet president less than a year before, saw the film and expressed his fondness for Leonid Gaidai's work. Due to Brezhnev's appreciation, the censors reconsidered their initial decision and the movie was officially released. See more »
When the kidnappers are running through the forest chased by a wild bear, the bear has a leather collar around its neck. See more »
All rise! Court is in session!
All hail our court, the most humane court in the world!
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He only appeared in a few films, but the idea seems to have been to make the "Shurik" character played by Aleksandr Demyanenko into a sort of Soviet version of classic recurring slapstick characters of the type of, most famously, Chaplin's "Little Tram" -- he shows up somewhere and the character remains the same but is placed in a new comedic story-line.
It works well, and this comedy benefits from being much more unifying than the previous Shurik film, "Operatsiya Y." He shows up and we're told that Shurik has arrived in the Caucasus in order to study folklore. We don't need to know anything more, but it does lead to a funny running gag, where everyone he meets forces on him way more alcohol than he can handle because he said he would be studying traditional toasts.
This movie is very funny, seeming to find just the right combination of classic old-fashioned slapstick, outright goofiness, and a good farcical plot. The story, which is based around a traditional Caucasion bride- kidnapping turning into a real kidnapping, is just enough to keep funny misunderstandings going, but not get in the way of good gags pr set pieces. There's also a lot of Central Asian local-color to be seen -- as part of the concept is taking the retiring city-boy Shurik and putting him in an interesting location -- and that's just interesting from any perspective.
Though Shurik is nominally the protagonist, a lot of the comedy show is stolen by the band of three villains (including one who has the only postwar Hitler moustache I've seen on anyone but Michael Jordan or Robert Mugabe) who channel the Three Stoges in their slapstick attempts to get things done.
Natalya Varley is a lot of fun to watch as she apparently invests her role with a superhuman amount of verve, and the two songs are both highly catchy. So on the whole this one's a winner, and just plain funny throughout.
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