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12 + 1 (1969)

Young philanderer inherits 13 ratty antique chairs and decides to sell them off to get some money. Later he learns that one of them contains documents worth a lot of money, so he begins an ... See full summary »

Directors:

Nicolas Gessner, Luciano Lucignani (uncredited)

Writers:

Marc Behm (screenplay), Denis Norden (screenplay) (as Dennis Norden) | 3 more credits »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Sharon Tate ... Pat
Vittorio Gassman ... Mario Beretti
Orson Welles ... Maurice Markau
Vittorio De Sica ... Carlo De Seta - The Commendatore
Terry-Thomas ... Albert
Mylène Demongeot ... Judy
Tim Brooke-Taylor Tim Brooke-Taylor ... Jackie
John Steiner ... Stanley Duncan
Grégoire Aslan ... Psychiatrist (as Gregoire Aslan)
William Rushton William Rushton ... Lionel Bennet
Lionel Jeffries ... Randomhouse
Ottavia Piccolo ... Stefanella De Seta
Catana Cayetano Catana Cayetano ... Véronique
Claude Berthy Claude Berthy ... François
Marzio Margine Marzio Margine ... Pasqualino
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Storyline

Young philanderer inherits 13 ratty antique chairs and decides to sell them off to get some money. Later he learns that one of them contains documents worth a lot of money, so he begins an adventurous trip to regain possession of the chair. On the way he meets many strange people, some who want to help and some who want to swindle him. Written by Adalberto Fornario

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Sharon Tate, in her last movie, finally released to the public!! See more »

Genres:

Adventure | Comedy

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Italy | France

Language:

English

Release Date:

1 May 1970 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The 13 Chairs See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Technicolor)
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

When Sharon Tate arrived in Rome for filming near the end of March 1969, she was about three months pregnant and beginning to show. Because the script called for several semi-nude scenes, the director arranged to film those scenes first. As filming (and her pregnancy) progressed, the director obscured Tate's stomach with large purses and scarves. This is most apparent in the scene following her ride in the furniture mover's van. See more »

Alternate Versions

Some versions of the film have the final scene reedited to remove the final image. The final image showed Mario looking exactly like Charles Manson. See more »

Connections

Version of 12 stulev (2004) See more »

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User Reviews

weird but fun
18 October 2011 | by Auteurist-en-EcosseSee all my reviews

Long unavailable, you can now (2011) buy this on DVD in an Italian release. No English subtitles but if you play the Italian subtitles you can work out what is happening. I wanted to see it for two reasons. First, I'm trying to watch all the various film versions of Ilf and Petrov's 1920s Soviet novel The Twelve Chairs. The plot - a man inherits a set of dining room chairs with jewels stashed in one of them, and a frantic chase ensues to find the right chair after the set has been dispersed - has been used various times, most notably by Mel Brooks in 1970. Second, the bizarre international cast seemed to indicate this was a really classic instance of international co-production of the type so common in the late 1960s. I was particularly interested, as a British viewer, to see stalwarts of 1970s British TV in an Italian-made film. What would the results be like?

After years of waiting, I was not disappointed.

In no other film will you see:

Willie Rushton declare his love for an ultra-camp Tim Brooke-Taylor - in dubbed Italian

Tim Brooke-Taylor camping it up with, in separate scenes, Orson Welles and Vittorio de Sica

Welles play Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde as if in a pantomime

Terry-Thomas as a lorry driver.

Mylene Demongeot as a prostitute quite happy to hire out her chairs for men to make love with.

And so on and so forth. The film is typical of the late 60s kaleidoscope approach to film-making - throw every bizarre ingredient into the mix and see what happens, a la the original Casino Royale. But this film, while wildly dated, still entertains in a giddy sort of way, because it's fast-paced, there are no boring passages and you never (and I really mean never) know what will happen next.

If you like late 60s cinema, then this is a crucial watch. It is also valuable to watch if you are a student of British comedy, as you get two different comedy traditions - an older one music hall represented by Terry-Thomas on the one hand, and a newer TV satire one embodied by Rushton and Brooke-Taylor on the other - playing out in the context of an Italian film. It's really interesting to watch this if you are interested in the history of British comedy. I am pretty sure that no film historians writing such a history have included Twelve Plus One, but it deserves at least a side mention of British actors being used for international co-production purposes. The results are odd but fascinating.

I should also note that Ms. Tate is charming and certainly at the most beautiful I have seen her in any film. The tragedy of her early death is underlined by watching this film, where she does seem hugely magnetic. You do get a sense of why Polanski fell for her in real life.

Overall, Twelve Plus One is well worth seeing. It is a perfect time- capsule of what European films were like in the late 60s. It has a silly charm that still works today - in fact, the film may play better now, at forty years' distance, than it did when it was first released.


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