The Twelve Chairs
A wild and hilarious chase for a fortune in jewels.
Shortly after the Russian Revolution, ex-nobleman Ippolit Vorobyaninov (Ron Moody) learns that the family jewels are hidden in a set of twelve chairs that are now scattered all around. This oft-filmed story became director Mel Brooks’s next project after The Producers (1968). Shot in Yugoslavia, Brooks’s Eastern European heritage gives flavor to this wild comedy that also takes potshots at Soviet bureaucracy and greed, the latter ingredient represented by Dom DeLuise’s character, a priest who quickly abandons the church for those jewels. He’s brilliant; the movie as a whole is charming, but uneven.
1970-U.S. 94 min. Color. Written and directed by Mel Brooks. Song: “Hope For the Best, Expect the Worst” (Mel Brooks, John Morris). Cast: Ron Moody (Ippolit Vorobyaninov), Frank Langella (Ostap Bender), Dom DeLuise (Father Fyodor), Mel Brooks, Bridget Brice, Robert Bernal.
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