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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 »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


The movie was partly filmed in Odessa, which is not only the hometown on Il'f and Petrov, the writers of the novel the movie is based on, but also the city of which the fictitious city of "Chernomorsk" (Black Sea City) is based on. However the town of Iljichevsk, in the south of Odessa, that was officially made a town in 1973, was also renamed in Chornomorsk in 2016, to make it sound less communistic. See more »


In the radio news report when Koreyko is walking with his suitcase the announcer said that premier minister of France Raymond Poincaré resigned from his position. However this happened in in July 1929, while the plot takes place in 1930. 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 »


Referenced in Komediya davno minuvshikh dney (1980) 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

12 January 2015 | by hte-trasmeSee all my reviews

The version I watched not long ago of Ilf and Petrov's previous novel of Ostap Bender, "The Twelve Chairs" distinguished itself by unashamedly combining a 1920s setting with a 1970s look and feel. This film goes a very different route with no less success and goes all out for a reconstruction of the film style of the 1920s, complete with authentic-looking title cards to set the scenes. Combined with its sound (and excellent 1920s music) and accommodating running time, it makes for an unusual, pleasant and suitable feel.

This film's greatest advantage is that it is completely in the spirit of Ilf and Petrov's hilarious, adventurous, subversive, and even somewhat humanizing novel. The book builds its effect on may small incidents, and it would have seemed a challenge to choose which to include even in a two-part film adaptation, but this one makes these choices seem perfectly natural.

The biggest asset of them all is Sergey Yurskiy, who for me now embodies the hero Ostap Bender. He's a con man you can feel for (He just wants to go to Rio De Jinero!), and his wry, knowing looks and addresses at the camera are, funny, effective at building sympathy, and at the same time as they are a tribute to the time of such artists as Oliver Hardy and Charley Chase, they also add a postmodern touch.

If this adaptation is not as much fun as is source material, it is only for taking less time to finish!

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