Tuesday, January 19, 2010

“The Twelve Chairs”

My tweet: The Twelve Chairs-Mel Brooks made a movie between “The Producers” and “Blazing Saddles” that no one ever talks about. This is it. 5.5 (out of 10) I never heard of this movie before. But even Brooks’ less successful films are usually a good time. “The Twelve Chairs” certainly opens on a good note. It’s post-revolutionary Russia and an old lady, a one-time member of the aristocracy, makes a death-bed confession to hiding a fortune in jewelry inside an old dining room chair (one of 12) that has since been lost. That sends orthodox priest Father Fyodor (Dom Deluise) and her son-in-law, Ippolit Vorobyaninov, (Ron Moody) on a race to find the chairs and ultimately the jewels. I was expecting a madcap treasure hunt akin to “It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World.” But “The Twelve Chairs” never rises to that film’s level of slapstick and certainly not to the inspired lunacy of “The Producers” or Blazing Saddles.” It’s not all bad though. Frank Langella, as a larcenous beggar who teams up with Vorobyaninov, is a dashing presence. And both Dom Deluise and Ron Moody have their moments. But unless you’re a hardcore Mel Brooks fan who wants to see everything in his catalog, I think you can better than “The Twelve Chairs.” Brooks certainly did.

“The Twelve Chairs”

Released: 1970

Rating: NR

Length: 94 minutes

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

Director: Mel Brooks

Genre(s): Comedy

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