12 Chairs (1971)
Genre: Comedy, Literary Adaptation
Director: Leonid Gaidai
Cast: Archil Gomiashvili, Sergey Filippov, Mikhail Pugovkin, Natalya Krachkovskaya, Natalya Vorobyova, Yuriy Nikulin
A zany comic adaptation of Ilf and Petrov’s much-loved classic satirical story by the master comic film director, Leonid Gaidai. It is 1927 during the so-called NEP (New Economic Policy) and a former aristocrat, Ippolit Vorobyaninov, is leading a miserable life in the new Soviet Union. On her death-bed, his mother-in-law reveals a secret to him that ten years ago during the Revolution she hid the family jewels in one of the antique twelve chairs they once owned. Vorobyaninov teams up with a charming young con artist, Ostap Bender, to find the twelve chairs and with them the precious diamonds. But which chair? The bright colours, the extraordinary pacing, the bold action with high-spirited, circuslike performances reveal the liberating lunacy of one of the finest Russian comedies.