6.6/10
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44 user 31 critic

The Twelve Chairs (1970)

GP | | Comedy | 28 October 1970 (USA)
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1:30 | Trailer

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In 1920s Soviet Russia, a fallen aristocrat, a priest and a con artist search for a treasure of jewels hidden inside one of twelve dining chairs, lost during the revolution.

Director:

Mel Brooks

Writers:

Ilya Ilf (novel) (as Ilf), Yevgeni Petrov (novel) (as Petrov) | 3 more credits »
Reviews
1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Ron Moody ... Vorobyaninov
Frank Langella ... Ostap Bender
Dom DeLuise ... Father Fyodor
Andréas Voutsinas ... Nikolai Sestrin (as Andreas Voutsinas)
Diana Coupland Diana Coupland ... Madam Bruns
David Lander David Lander ... Engineer Bruns
Vlada Petric Vlada Petric ... Sevitsky
Elaine Garreau Elaine Garreau ... Claudia Ivanovna
Robert Bernal Robert Bernal ... Curator
Will Stampe Will Stampe ... Night Watchman
Bridget Brice ... Young Woman
Nicholas Smith ... Actor in Play
Rada Djuricin Rada Djuricin ... Actress in Play
Branka Veselinovic Branka Veselinovic ... Natasha
Mladen 'Mladja' Veselinovic Mladen 'Mladja' Veselinovic ... Peasant (as Mladja Veselinovic)
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Storyline

A treasure hunt. An aging ex-nobleman of the Czarist regime has finally adjusted to life under the commisars in Russia. Both he and the local priest find that the family jewels were hidden in a chair, one of a set of twelve. They return separately to Moscow to find the hidden fortune. Written by John Vogel <jlvogel@comcast.net>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

The man who made 'Blazing Saddles' and 'Young Frankenstein' brings you his funniest comedy ever... See more »

Genres:

Comedy

Certificate:

GP | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Russian

Release Date:

28 October 1970 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The 12 Chairs See more »

Filming Locations:

Adriatic Sea See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Ostap Bender proved such a popular character that although Vorobyaninov slits his throat with a razor and apparently kills him at the end of the original TWELVE CHAIRS novel (an ending NOT used in the film), authors Ilya Ilf and Evgeny Petrov brought him back for more comedic adventures in the sequel THE GOLDEN CALF (1931). See more »

Goofs

During the chase through the train yard, a modern era bus can be seen passing in the background. See more »

Quotes

Tikon: [remembering his former master Vorobyaninov] I loved him... he hardly ever beat us!
See more »

Crazy Credits

In the opening credits the title of the movie is showed in Russian first (even with a typographic error 'Dvenadzat' stchlyev'), then it changes into the english title. The same happened at the end of the credits with the words "The end" (Konez), first cames the Russian word, than the english translation. See more »

Connections

Version of Mein Opa und die 13 Stühle (1997) See more »

Soundtracks

Hope for the Best, Expect the Worst
Music by Johannes Brahms ("Hungarian Dance No. 4 in F# minor") and lyrics by Mel Brooks
See more »

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User Reviews

 
The Brooks no one remembers....
14 September 1999 | by Mister-6See all my reviews

A long time ago, Mel Brooks had a subtle side.

Hard to believe, isn't it? The man responsible for such guffaw-fests as "Blazing Saddles", "Silent Movie", "High Anxiety" and such.... SUBTLE?

In "The Twelve Chairs", he does get laughs out of the story of a Russian nobleman searching for jewels sewn into one of twelve of his family's chairs that have been sold with the rest of his family's possessions. But not the way we're use to seeing Mel earn them.

This, time, he gets them through character study, human nature, individuals' reactions to certain embarrassing situations and, of course, good old-fashioned greed. And the laughs are there, to be sure.

I'm actually surprised that I liked this as much as I did. I'm used to Mel up there with the lampshade on his head, yucking it up with wild abandon. This film, subtle as it is, makes me laugh.

Of course, for purists, there's always good old DeLuise as another conniver searching for the same jewels. He makes with the wildness and insanity that makes a Mel Brooks film a Mel Brooks film, and he's a joy to see.

The others, Moody and Langella in particular, play regular human beings who see a situation, assess it and act as (nearly) anyone else would. More humorously, of course.

Seek out "The Twelve Chairs". Rare as it is, a rose by any other name....

And you know the rest.

Eight stars. Hey! Hey, hey, hey!


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