The Twelve Chairs

1970

Comedy

108
Rotten Tomatoes Critics - Certified Fresh 93%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Upright 63%
IMDb Rating 6.5 10 5,372

Synopsis


Downloaded times
February 19, 2020

Director

Cast

Dom DeLuise as Stanley
Frank Langella as Professor Driskoll
Mel Brooks as Richard H. Thorndyke
720p.BLU
860.66 MB
1280*720
English 2.0
NR
23.976 fps
94 min
P/S N/A / N/A

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by theowinthrop 10 / 10 / 10

Welcome to Marx, Engels, Lenin, Stalin, and TXXXXsky Street

It is the forgotten Brooks movie. Probably because it has the most controlled script story, and had the least wild, satyric inventiveness of any of his films. After he wrote and directed the original THE PRODUCERS, Brooks did not do another film for a few years. The second one was this one set in the post-Russian Revolution period in the Soviet Union. Ron Moody (Fagin in the musical OLIVER) is a minor Tsarist nobleman who discovers, when attending his mother-in-law on her death bed, that she hid her fortune in jewelry in one of the dining room chairs. There were a set of twelve chairs, and they were appropriated by the government to be given to deserving members of the proletariat. Moody discovers that his mother-in-law did confess this to one person besides him: the local Russian Orthodox Priest (Dom DeLuise). Moody finds the latter a difficult opponent to beat to the fortune first. By chance he falls in with a young swindler (Frank Langella) and he and Langella pursue the chairs, and also send DeLuise on a wild goose chase following a second set of similar chairs. What we get is a view of the Soviet Union in 1928, as the Civil Wars died out and the regime consolidated power. Trotsky's name is now dismissed (as a street shows). The stage is dominated by the state oriented drama that is anti-capitalist. Witness the performance of Andreas Voutsinas - the original "Carmen Ghia" in the first PRODUCERS, as the government backed manager of the theater group that Moody and Langella join. There is a life and death threat behind comments he gives to one of the stage crew he controls. We also see how the common people try to cope with the changes - being sent across country on government sponsored jobs - to houses that the government may furnish. Brooks has his first role in his own films in this one - as Tikhon, the drunken, ex-servant of Moody. He receives a slap from the latter, and considers it exactly like a hug. Like IT'S A MAD, MAD, MAD, MAD WORLD, THE TWELVE CHAIRS looks at the antics people will go through for hidden wealth. Langella, who is a street criminal anyway, is the only sane member of the three treasure seekers. He is a realist (the first really serious one in Brooks' films), and has adapted to the new conditions fairly easily by living on his considerably keen wits. He realizes that he is hampered as well as helped by his alliance with Moody, but manages to figure out how to live with Moody as best as possible. Moody has become a bureaucrat to survive in the new regime (he's suspect as an aristocrat), but he still has his pretenses. It takes the events he shares with Langella for him to finally give up his pretenses. Together both men find out what is really worthwhile about living. DeLuise is less lucky. He just discovers the perils of being a loner.

Reviewed by Steve-614 7 / 10 / 10

Hilarious odyssey across Russia on search of the family jewels

As Mel Brooks films go, I rate it second only to Young Frankenstein. The action takes place in Russia 10 years after the Revolution. Ron Moody is marvelous as a low IQ and totally inept former nobleman, now hiding out as a clerk in a government office, who learns that the family jewels had been sewn into one of the 12 dining room chairs. He returns to his former residence, now an old folks home, and learns from former servant, now janitor, Mel Brooks that the chairs are gone, confiscated by the government. Con man Frank Langella threatens to turn Moody in if he does not allow him in on the quest. Of course, the chairs have been widely distributed. A major fly in the ointment is Dom Deluise, the village priest, who has also learned the secret. He relinquishes all for greed ("O, Thou who knowest all---you know.") and competes in the search. Not a perfect movie, but loaded with laughs. May be Dom's funniest role. I give it an 8 out of 10.

Reviewed by lee_eisenberg 7 / 10 / 10

Who would guess that it comes from Mel Brooks?

Knowing that Mel Brooks usually makes the silliest movies possible, it's a surprise that he directed the lightweight comedy "The Twelve Chairs". It portrays a former Czarist (Ron Moody, happy birthday!) and a young soldier (Frank Langella) looking for some jewels hidden in chairs in the Soviet Union in the 1920s. I will say that not much really happens throughout much of the movie, but it is a famous part of Russian literature. I haven't read the novel, but the movie is worth seeing, if only as a look at Brooks's early career. Also starring Dom DeLuise and Brooks in a small role. Epilepsy...

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