8.5/10
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5 user 2 critic

Gentlemen of Fortune (1971)

Dzhentlmeny udachi (original title)
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 ... See full summary »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
... Evgeni Ivanovich Troshkin; «Dotsent» San Sanich Belyi
... Khmyr / Sad Sack
... Vasily Alibabayevich / Ali-Baba
... Fedya Yermakov / Cross Eyes
... Lyudmila, archeologist's daughter
... Nikolai Grigorevich Maltsev, archeologist
... Colonel Verchenko (as N. Olyalin)
... Chess Player in Hotel
... Cloakroom attendant
... Kindergarten Principal
... Lieutenant Vladimir Slavin
... The old thief
Natalya Vorobyova ... Elena
... Dvornichikha
... (as G. Mikeladze)
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Storyline

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 <zardock@geocities.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy | Crime | Drama | Mystery

Certificate:

TV-13 | See all certifications »
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Details

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Release Date:

13 December 1971 (Soviet Union)  »

Also Known As:

Gentlemen of Fortune  »

Company Credits

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Did You Know?

Trivia

"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 »

Goofs

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 »

Quotes

[first lines]
Fedya Yermakov: Trrrr. I guess there are snakes here.
Khmyr: What snakes?
See more »

Connections

Remade as Fracchia la belva umana (1981) See more »

Soundtracks

Novogodnyaya pesenka
("New Year Song")
Music by Gennadiy Gladkov
Lyrics by Igor Shaferan
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Good fortune to see it
16 February 2014 | by See all my reviews

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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