A kindergarten director Troshkin is a dead ringer for a criminal nicknamed "Docent" who stole the priceless headpiece of Alexander the Great during an archaeological expedition. But after ...
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In this comic story, nerdy Shurik travels to the Caucasus in search of native legends and folklore. But what he finds is a beautiful girl whom, due to intoxication and deceit of the local "... See full summary »
Semyon Gorbunkov goes on a cruise. In Istanbul, he slips and breaks his arm. What he didn't know is that this was a signal for a gang of smugglers (a real smuggler - Gena - was also on ... See full summary »
Shurik Timofeev builds a working model of a time machine. By accident, Ivan Bunsha, an apartment complex manager, and George Miloslavsky, a petty burglar, are transferred to the 16th ... See full summary »
A former aristocrat Ippolit Vorobyaninov leads a miserable life in Soviet Russia. His mother-in-law reveals a secret to him - she hid family diamonds in one of the twelve chairs they once ... See full summary »
Anatoli Yefremovich Novoseltsev works in a statistics institution, whose director is an unattractive and bossy woman. An old friend of his, Yuri Grigorievich Samokhvalov, who gets appointed... See full summary »
A group of old friends have a tradition of going to a public bathing house on New Years eve. Incidentally, too much vodka and beer makes two of them unconscious. The problem is that one of ... See full summary »
Injured on the job Vasily Kuzyakin gets a ticket to the resort. There he meets femme fatale Raisa Zakharovna, and once under the charm, moves to live with her. Unfortunately, a new life is not all that sweet as dreamed hapless Vasily.
The hero of the film is an insurance agent who is also a car thief. He steals cars only from various crooks and never from the good people. Then he sells those stolen cars and gives all the... See full summary »
In Italy, a dying woman tells her granddaughter that she hid her treasure many years ago in Russia, in the city of Leningrad. Other people (who were around when she died) also learn about ... See full summary »
A kindergarten director Troshkin is a dead ringer for a criminal nicknamed "Docent" who stole the priceless headpiece of Alexander the Great during an archaeological expedition. But after militia "inputs" Troshkin into the criminal environment he has nothing left to do but to carefully play out the part of his "evil twin".Written by
John Isaak <email@example.com>
"Dotsent" is a common Russian academic title, roughly corresponding to "Professor" in the USA. The plot of a timid ordinary citizen being mistaken for a hardened criminal and becoming involved in catching the crooks goes back in US film history at least to John Ford's The Whole Town's Talking (1935), a comedy-drama that starred Edward G. Robinson in a similar dual role. See more »
When Troshkin is being hit by Mikola in prison, Troshkin's pants already have a dirt mark in the back, most probably from rehearsals. See more »
The Soviet prison system might not be high on many people's lists of good starting laces for humor, but this comedy winds up being often very funny nonetheless.
This basis is a classic fish-out-of-water premise, wherein a kindly kindergarten teacher happens to look uncannily like a a notorious criminal who has collaborated in stealing a priceless Macedonian gold helmet. The authorities' plan -- only just past the boundary of realism -- is to give him a wig and some false tattoos, and enlist him to help find the helmet. And this, of course, leads to all sorts of awkward situations, which are played for a deadpan absurdity that sets a great tone.
It's also interesting for its view (through a comedy lens) of the Soviet prison system and criminal life at this time, as well as its central Asian setting. Apparently, a good amount of actual contemporary underworld slang from the time was included (which our hero has to learn like a second language). Through the humor, criminals are nonetheless treated as human characters, who are wistful at having been divorced from a normal life and family, rather than completely villainous reprobates.
A very entertaining picture in all, with both likable cops and largely likable robbers as its characters. Recommended.
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