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The Golden Calf (1968)

Zolotoy telyonok (original title)
A crook named Ostap Bender, who survived a murder attempt by Kisa Vorobyaninov in "12 Chairs," now schemes to extort 1 million from an underground millionaire.


Mikhail Shvejtser


Ilya Ilf (novel), Yevgeni Petrov (novel) | 1 more credit »


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Credited cast:
Sergey Yurskiy ... Ostap Bender
Leonid Kuravlyov ... Shura Balaganov
Zinoviy Gerdt ... Panikovsky
Evgeniy Evstigneev ... Koreiko
Svetlana Starikova ... Zosya Sinitskaya
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Nikolay Boyarskiy ... Adam Kozlevich
Mikhail Kokshenov
Pavel Pavlenko ... Funt
Pavel Vinnik ... Berlaga
Konstantin Voinov ... Skumbriyevich
Igor Yasulovich ... Car Enthusiast


A crook named Ostap Bender, who survived a murder attempt by Kisa Vorobyaninov in "12 Chairs," now schemes to extort 1 million from an underground millionaire. Written by Boris Shafir <shafir@hsi.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis






Soviet Union



Release Date:

8 July 1968 (Soviet Union) See more »

Also Known As:

If I Had a Million Rubles See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Mosfilm See more »
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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


At the end of the movie Bender said to Sosya that he is 33 years old. the age of Jesus Christ. In fact Sergej Yurskij, who played Bender in this movie, was actually 33 years old while filming the movie, which also fits the age of Ostap Bender from the original novel. See more »


When telling Bender about the regions in the USSR that were shared between the organization "Children of Leutanant Schmidt" Balaganov mentioned that Panikovskiy was assigned to the Mordovsaya ASSR. However that republic was found in December 1934, while the story is set in 1930. In the original book Panikovsky took the region of Povolgje, a region in south Russia near Kazachstan. See more »


Ostap Bender: [speaking to Kozlevich] I can't buy you a car. The government demands to know where I got the money from.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Before the movie's title is shown, the photos of Ilya Il'f and Yevgeniy Petrov, the original novel's writers, appear along with their signatures. See more »


Version of Aranyborjú (1974) See more »


Largo al factotum della citta
(from "The Barber of Seville")
Written by Gioachino Rossini
(sang in the background in the beach scene)
See more »

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User Reviews

"No, it is not Rio de Janeiro. It is much worse",
1 September 2005 | by G_a_l_i_n_aSee all my reviews

The film is a screen adaptation of the cult novel "The Golden Calf" by Ilya Ilf and Yevgeni Petrov. The book is the sequel to "Twelve Chairs" and both are among the most deservingly famous and adored, wittiest satirical books written during the Soviet period. I believe that the film "Zolotoy Telyonok" is the most successful adaptation of Ilf and Petrov's works due to the skillful directing by Mikhail Schweitzer, spectacular B/W cinematography and unmatched performances by some of the most talented Soviet actors.

"The Twelve Chairs", the first Ostap Bender novel is the funny story with the dramatic end that depicts the adventures of a con-man (Ostap) and a former nobleman (Kisa Vorobianinov) in post-revolution Russia of 1920th in search for a chair with the hidden diamonds. Presumably dead at the end of the first book, charming and irrepressible Ostap Bender – who respected the law and knew hundreds of legal ways to make people part with their money (Sergey Yursky, the best screen Ostap) was resurrected in a sequel, "Zolotoy telyonok" ("The Golden Calf"), an equally humorous but more serious and sharper satire on the drawbacks of the Soviet System. In "Zolotoy Telyonok", Bender discovers an "underground Soviet millionaire", Alexander Koreiko (Bender meets his match in the seemingly plain and insignificant accountant with 46 rubles per month salary Alexander Ivanovich Koreiko) and blackmails him in hopes to extort one million rubles and fulfill his "crystal" dream of moving to Rio de Janeiro. In his quest, he has been helped by the hilarious trio of the characters - young and naive ex-convict, Shura Balaganov, an older unlucky con-man, Panikovsky (the brilliant performance by one of the most beloved Russian actors, Zinoviy Gerdt) and the sad-eyed driver of the unique and ugliest car, Adam Kozlevich. Bender eventually learns that it is easier to get a million rubles in Soviet Russia than to spend it. Would he be able to cross the border and see Rio de Janeiro?

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