12 Chairs (subtitles)
A former aristocrat Ippolit Vorobyaninov leads a miserable life in Soviet Russia. His mother-in-law reveals a secret to him - she hid family diamonds in one of the twelve chairs they once had. Vorobyaninov in cooperation with a young con artist Ostap Bender start a long search for the diamonds.


A review by hte-trasme:

Ilf and Petrov's original novel of "The Twelve Chairs" was a fantastically lighthearted, satirical, and witty piece of work that managed to pack a huge amount of comic and observant material densely into one novel that still flies by when read. Any film adaptation could only hope to capture the delightfully larcenous tone, and give a tour of some of the more enjoyable moments of picaresque plot.

This film succeeds at that, and goes beyond it. An adaptation of a famously iconoclastic novel manages to honor the authors while being appropriately innovative itself -- where new sequences are added, they are funny and they fit. The title card announcing how long till the end of the film is formally experimental and funny. The slapstick sequences do everything they should. The cartoon of Bender's chess dream is delightfully wacky (and oddly prescient of the construction of an actual "Chess City" by an eccentric president in one of Russia's federal subjects 27 years later).

The two stars quickly and lastingly convince as the Great Combiner and his mark -- a pair of heroes we can root as strongly for as we can again. Everything has a brisk, breezy, exhilarating pace. A worthy screen version of the brilliant comic novel.

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