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Twelve Chairs 

12 stulev (original title)
Two scoundrels try to find the twelve chairs, in one of which their aunts has sewn jewelry into.
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1  
1977  

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Cast

Series cast summary:
Andrey Mironov ...  Ostap Bender 4 episodes, 1977
Anatoliy Papanov ...  Ippolit 'Kisa' Vorobyaninov 4 episodes, 1977
Rolan Bykov ...  Father Fyodor 4 episodes, 1977
Georgiy Vitsin ...  Bezenchuk 4 episodes, 1977
Oleg Tabakov ...  Alkhen 4 episodes, 1977
Tatyana Pelttser ...  Vorobyaninov's Mother-in-Law 4 episodes, 1977
Nikolai Skorobogatov ...  Korobeinikov / ... 4 episodes, 1977
Nelli Gosheva Nelli Gosheva 4 episodes, 1977
Nikolay Karachentsov ...  An Actor 4 episodes, 1977
Lyubov Polishchuk ...  The Dancer in Ostap's dream 4 episodes, 1977
Natalya Zhuravlyova 4 episodes, 1977
Aleksandra Dorokhina 4 episodes, 1977
Vera Orlova ...  Yelena Stanislavovna 4 episodes, 1977
Zinoviy Gerdt ...  Narrator 4 episodes, 1977
Eduard Abalov Eduard Abalov 4 episodes, 1977
Aleksandr Abdulov ...  Engineer Schukin 4 episodes, 1977
Viktor Anisimov Viktor Anisimov 4 episodes, 1977
Boris Bekker Boris Bekker 4 episodes, 1977
Vera Blagovidova Vera Blagovidova 4 episodes, 1977
A. Bogolepova A. Bogolepova 4 episodes, 1977
Lev Borisov ...  Stage Worker Mechnikov 4 episodes, 1977
Valentin Bryleev 4 episodes, 1977
Inga Budkevich 4 episodes, 1977
Mikhail Bychkov 4 episodes, 1977
Nina Delektorskaya 4 episodes, 1977
Lidiya Fedoseeva-Shukshina ...  M-me Gritsatsuyeva 4 episodes, 1977
Vladimir Fyodorov 4 episodes, 1977
Emmanuil Geller 4 episodes, 1977
Dmitriy Goshev Dmitriy Goshev 4 episodes, 1977
Vera Ivleva ...  Ellochka's friend 4 episodes, 1977
Saveliy Kramarov ...  Polesov 4 episodes, 1977
Nikolay Kuznetsov Nikolay Kuznetsov 4 episodes, 1977
K. Lyapshinova K. Lyapshinova 4 episodes, 1977
Yuriy Medvedev 4 episodes, 1977
Pavel Pavlenko 4 episodes, 1977
Aleksandr Pyatkov ...  Druggist 4 episodes, 1977
Aleksandr Sazhin 4 episodes, 1977
Oleg Sevastyanov 4 episodes, 1977
Elena Shanina ...  Ellochka Schukina 4 episodes, 1977
Aleksandr Shirvindt ...  Chess Club Chairman 4 episodes, 1977
L. Shishova L. Shishova 4 episodes, 1977
O. Slidovker O. Slidovker 4 episodes, 1977
Vladimir Sokolov Vladimir Sokolov 4 episodes, 1977
Galina Sokolova 4 episodes, 1977
Oleg Stepanov Oleg Stepanov 4 episodes, 1977
Mikhail Svetin ...  Engineer Bruns 4 episodes, 1977
Nikolay Tsorn Nikolay Tsorn 4 episodes, 1977
Aleksandr Makarov Aleksandr Makarov 3 episodes, 1977
Mark Prudkin ...  Varfolomey Korobeynikov 2 episodes, 1977
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Storyline

Set in the late 1920's Soviet Union, Ostap Bender and Ippolit "Kisa" Vorobyaninov are after stash of diamonds hidden in one of the chairs in 12-chair set. They are forced to go on a cross-country chase when the chairs are auctioned of. Written by Eugene <lorus@worldnet.att.net>

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Connections

Remake of The Twelve Chairs (1962) See more »

User Reviews

 
Bender/Valentino
13 December 2011 | by DMSpencerSee all my reviews

I don't speak Russian (though Russia accounts for 100% of my ancestry) but I've had occasion to get familiar with those works of Ilf & Petrov that have been translated into English. I've read and own every translation and while I was at it, decided to acquire as many of the cinematic adaptations as I could, which wound up being most of them, through various online sources.

12 CHAIRS has given rise to 15 available video versions (some for TV, one the recording of a stage musical) with one from India yet to follow. Some just use the basic plot as a springboard, eight are relatively faithful to the novel and differ primarily in tone and approach. If you know the novel well, they're easy to follow, even without Russian fluency. This miniseries being among them.

While I agree with the posters who believe the 1971 Gaidi feature film is superior -- it may be the iconic adaptation of the story, plus it's simply brilliant filmmaking -- this 1977 miniseries has its advantages and charms. It seems clear that director Mark Zakharov was very interested in channeling the spirit of the 20s in which it is set, and in doing so by emulating styles of performance, comedy, music and cinema of the period. He doesn't emulate them so much as put them through a filter to form a coherent contemporary film with an old school sensibility. The controversy (in these IMDb reviews) about Andrey Miranov's interpretation of Ostap Bender stems from (what seems to me) the fact that he's fulfilling Zakharov's 1920-esque vision. The look and the style are very consciously reminiscent of high-style, yet somewhat cool, romantic leading men like Valentino (in fact I'm willing to bet that Valentino was a conscious model). And I think whether or not you dig the miniseries will depend on whether or not you sign on for the particular ride the director wants to take you on. I was happy to go along.

My caveat is that despite the brilliance of individual sections, over the long haul the pacing seems slow-ish. (The '71 Gaidi film is perfectly paced, by contrast.) But it's still a fascinating miniseries, for its cultural perspective alone.

Also highly recommended for followers of Ostap are the two Russian adaptations of his second adventure, THE (LITTLE) GOLDEN CALF. Check out the stunningly brilliant 1968 film starring Sergei Yursky, and the periodically brilliant but always very good (and wonderfully cast) 2005 miniseries starring my favorite Ostap of all, Oleg Menshikov.


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Details

Country:

Soviet Union

Language:

Russian

Release Date:

2 January 1977 (Soviet Union) See more »

Also Known As:

12 стульев See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Ekran See more »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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