Twelve Chairs

Twelve Chairs

4.5 6

Cast: Mel Brooks, Ron Moody, Frank Langella, Dom DeLuise

     
 

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One of several film versions of the 1928 Russian novel The Twelve Chairs (one of the better-known adaptations was the 1945 Fred Allen vehicle It's in the Bag), Mel Brooks' movie is set in the years following the Bolshevik revolution. Onetime aristocrat Vorobyaninov (Ron Moody<See more details below

Overview

One of several film versions of the 1928 Russian novel The Twelve Chairs (one of the better-known adaptations was the 1945 Fred Allen vehicle It's in the Bag), Mel Brooks' movie is set in the years following the Bolshevik revolution. Onetime aristocrat Vorobyaninov (Ron Moody), now reduced to a humdrum clerical job, discovers that his family's fortune still exists. To keep their riches from falling into the hands of the revolutionaries, Vorobyaninov's family hid the loot in one of twelve chairs. Taking a crafty beggar (Frank Langella) into his confidence, Vorobyaninov returns to the ruins of his ancestral mansion to reclaim his fortune. Also chasing after the twelve chairs is an Orthodox priest (Dom DeLuise), who tells himself that he only wants the money to replenish his church. Alas, the chairs have been scattered to the four winds, sparking a film-length race to retrieve the furniture and claim the gold.

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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Craig Butler
The very amusing The Twelve Chairs is probably Mel Brooks' least demented comedy. Fans looking for the same off-the-wall sensibility that pervades Blazing Saddles and Young Frankenstein might be a little disappointed, although there certainly are moments that should please them (such as when Dom DeLuise opens his window after pulling into a Siberian train station to confront a mountain of snow or the chase sequence that leaves him stranded atop a mountain with no way down). But on the whole, Chairs is in a more standard-comedy mode, and those who approach it with this in mind should find plenty to keep them entertained. As director, Brooks is in as measured a mood as Brooks the writer, and that (relatively) relaxed feeling gives Chairs some surprisingly leisurely moments. Rather than letting the energy sag, this gives the viewer some time to concentrate more on the characters than the jokes. Unfortunately, this is one of Chairs' weaknesses; the characters are not poorly drawn, but they could use a tad more depth to really engage the viewer. Fortunately, Brooks has rounded up an appealing cast that more than makes up for this little deficiency. If Frank Langella lacks the comic energy that one associates with Brooks, he still has the commanding presence required by the part. Ron Moody is in fine form as the former owner of the title chairs, making the most of his predicament when told to sit by Langella and pulling off the difficult ending with great skill. And DeLuise, given the showiest part, takes full advantage of that fact. If Chairs does not reach lunatic heights, it still is disarming and enjoyable.

Product Details

Release Date:
09/05/2006
UPC:
0024543167372
Original Release:
1970
Rating:
NR
Source:
20th Century Fox
Region Code:
1
Time:
1:33:00
Sales rank:
12,910

Special Features

Closed Caption

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Ron Moody Vorobyaninov
Frank Langella Ostap Bender
Mel Brooks Tikon
Dom DeLuise Father Fyodor
Andréas Voutsinas Nikolai Sestrin
Vlada Petric Savitsky
David Lander Engineer Bruns
Diana Coupland Mme. Bruns
Elaine Garreau Claudia Ivanova
Will Stampe Watchman
Peter Banicevic Sergeant
Robert Bernal Curator
Bridget Brice Young Woman
Mavid Popovic Makko
Nicholas Smith First Actor
Aca Stojkovic Capt. Scriabin
Paul Wheeler Kolya
Branka Veselinovc Natasha

Technical Credits
Mel Brooks Director,Screenwriter
Bato Cengic Asst. Director
Sidney Glazier Producer
Alan Heim Editor
Michael Hertzberg Producer
John Morris Score Composer,Musical Direction/Supervision
Ruth Myers Costumes/Costume Designer
Peter Sutton Sound/Sound Designer
Jonathan Tunick Musical Direction/Supervision

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Scene Index

Disc #1 -- Twelve Chairs
1. Deathbed Secret [6:14]
2. Main Titles/Hope for the Best [:14]
3. Miracle Man [2:35]
4. The Revolution [2:55]
5. Better Times [3:06]
6. A Personal Matter [1:45]
7. Plan of Attack [2:25]
8. Finders Keepers [1:04]
9. Bureau of Chairs [3:57]
10. Museum Display [3:59]
11. The One That Got Away [1:09]
12. In Siberia [5:23]
13. Acting Noble [4:13]
14. Expect the Worst [:48]
15. Negotiations [2:11]
16. Beach Picnic [4:22]
17. The Luxury of Pride [2:40]
18. Frustation [3:34]
19. High Wire Act [2:09]
20. Answered Prayer [5:17]
21. 3,000 Miles [2:11]
22. Grand Opening [1:21]
23. The Twelfth Chair [2:50]
24. Give/End Titles [4:12]

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