Monday, March 25, 2013


This is the second film Mel Brooks directed. The film takes place in Soviet Union Russia in 1927, years after the Russian Revolution. An Ex Aristocrat (Ron Moody) and a Con Artist (Frank Langella) are on a treasure hunt to find hidden jewels in one of the 12 chairs that were taken away from the ex Aristocrat during the Revolution. Not only do the duo have to look for the chairs in different parts of Russia but a selfish and greedy priest (Dom DeLuise) is after the jewels too.

Our main characters are very funny, very enjoyable and are likable, not to mention that they are well casted.We first have Ron Moody (Who you might remember him as Fagin in the movie "Oliver!") is brilliantly funny in this movie. This is really one sad and desperate man who will do almost anything to get the Jewels. Almost every scene he's in he's always snapping and cracking up and not only are his energy and facial expressions funny but sometimes I can't believe that he was Fagin . Frank Langella (Who you might remember his Oscar nominated and Tony winning performance as Richard Nixon in "Frost/Nixon") is always cool, calm and collected while always coming up with a plan and trying to find ways to get and locate the chairs. This guy has to be one of the best con artists since Tom Sawyer, only he's a lot more cooler, heck he's so cool that even his accent is cool. The partnership between Moody and Langella is a great chemistry and it works. As for Dom DeLuise, well he's just as desperate and funny as Moody is, he's truly an enjoyment to watch. Oh and this is his first Mel Brooks film and boy do we know how many more laughs he'll bring on the way. The supporting characters are not too memorable but however there are a few funny ones which the stars has also appeared in other Mel Brooks films such as Andreas Voutsinas(Who's appeared as Carmen Ghia in the original Producers) and Mel Brooks himself acting for the first time in a film he directed.

Now the film itself is not a well known Mel Brooks film, in fact Mel Brooks didn't even write the story, it's actually based on a novel that's been adapted in film many times. Is it funny, I think so. Sure it's different from the typical Mel Brooks films and even though most jokes and moments are not as memorable compared to Mel Brook's later work it's still a good comedy. It's a really fun buddy adventure comedy and it does carry the same energy, atmosphere and fun of a Mel Brooks movie. Some of the best moments that I enjoy are the chase scenes which are in the style of a silent film, the obsessed and greedy characters and the many attempts they make to get those chairs. Mel Brooks even writes a song for this movie called "Hope For The Best, Expect The Worst", not as memorable as his other songs but it fits the films time and atmosphere as well as the cinematography and score.

Maybe it's not a well known Mel Brooks movie but it's indeed funny and watchable.

RATING 4/5  

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