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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.



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Credited cast:
... Ostap Bender
... Shura Balaganov
... Panikovsky
... Koreiko
... Zosya Sinitskaya
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
... Adam Kozlevich
Pavel Pavlenko ... Funt
... Berlaga
... Skumbriyevich
... 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>

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Release Date:

8 July 1968 (Soviet Union)  »

Also Known As:

If I Had a Million Rubles  »

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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 »


Panikovsky: Saw them Shura, they're made out of gold
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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 Prehlídce velim já (1969) See more »


Tango Brésilien (El choclo)
written by Angel Gregorio Villoldo
Played in the background during the late office scene until Bender arrives at Koreyko's flat)
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User Reviews

"No, it is not Rio de Janeiro. It is much worse",
1 September 2005 | by See 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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