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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Forgotten Classic
Not a typical Mel Brooks film, this was his second film as a director (after The Producers) and much more of a character and plot driven project than his later broad parodies. Based on a classic Russian novel and filmed in Yugoslavia, the look and feel of the film is wonderful (much better than Woody Allen's Love And Death). It would have been interesting if Brooks had...
Published on 21 Jun 2011 by Cowboy Buddha

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3.0 out of 5 stars I think this is not one of Mel Brooks best films. There are a few funny bits
I think this is not one of Mel Brooks best films. There are a few funny bits, but the story line is quite week. Steve
Published 11 days ago by MR S RL Watson


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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Forgotten Classic, 21 Jun 2011
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This review is from: Twelve Chairs [1970] [DVD] (DVD)
Not a typical Mel Brooks film, this was his second film as a director (after The Producers) and much more of a character and plot driven project than his later broad parodies. Based on a classic Russian novel and filmed in Yugoslavia, the look and feel of the film is wonderful (much better than Woody Allen's Love And Death). It would have been interesting if Brooks had carried on making films in this vein but, since this movie undeservably failed to find an audience, that was obviously not a commercially viable option. But it remains, in my opinion, one of Mel Brooks' best efforts with its dark humour and cynical edge and complete lack of coarse jokes.

The script is also by Brooks and is tight and keeps the plot moving at a good pace, mixing funny lines with bits of slapstick and occasional pathos. Brooks has given the film a happier ending than the original novel but since this is a comedy, that is no bad thing. The cast are a wild mixture of styles but, for the most part, seem to work well together. Ron Moody's obsessed aristocrat in a post-revolutionary world has flashes of his Fagin from Oliver but runs through a wealth of emotions like a pro. Frank Langella is handsome and looks every inch a typical movie hero even though he plays an amazingly unsympathetic character. Dom DeLuise mugs shamelessly which threatens to throw the film off-balance, but he mostly gets away with it. And Mel himself puts in a hilarious cameo near the beginning of the film just to prove that what follows is not to be taken too seriously.

I first saw this film in a nearly empty cinema when it was first released and loved it. So I am delighted that it is available on DVD and looking so good. In some ways, it has stood the test of time better than some other Mel Brooks film. It is not what used to be described as a "laff riot" but it is a funny and entertaining film which might just have a thoughtful subtext or two. Highly recommended.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Mel Brooks, 19 Sep 2013
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This review is from: Twelve Chairs [1970] [DVD] (DVD)
Good film, but not I think one of his best. The plot stretches a bit thin. Still manic though.
Quick delivery. Well packaged.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Twelve chairs dvd., 11 Mar 2013
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This review is from: Twelve Chairs [1970] [DVD] (DVD)
Fantastic dvd. Watched it when i was much younger, loved it then & still love it now. Have a laugh & watch it.
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5.0 out of 5 stars The twelft laugh and who's counting?, 7 Mar 2012
This review is from: Twelve Chairs [1970] [DVD] (DVD)
An absolute wonderful tragi-comic story of 3 individuals hunt for 12 chairs in post-revolution Russia. Mel Brooks is absolutely a genius. A must for every Comrad!
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3.0 out of 5 stars I think this is not one of Mel Brooks best films. There are a few funny bits, 18 Aug 2014
This review is from: Twelve Chairs [1970] [DVD] (DVD)
I think this is not one of Mel Brooks best films. There are a few funny bits, but the story line is quite week. Steve
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3 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars excellent film, 22 May 2007
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M. G. Caplin (slough uk) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Twelve Chairs [1970] [DVD] (DVD)
having eventually secured this film on ebay in VHS video some years ago I am delighted to be able to get this on DVD...I have seen many times the original Russian versions (two of them) with Mironov; rather longer than this one of the satirical Ilf and Petrov novel that I laboured through when studying Russian.

Nevertheless this version is very authentic, (according to my Russian wife) possibly helped by the fact that it was filmed in what was then Yugoslavia...
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2 of 6 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not impressed, 19 Nov 2007
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M. H. Plungjan (The Hague) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Twelve Chairs [1970] [DVD] (DVD)
I like Mel Brooks' films a lot
I really liked Mel Brooks in this film (all 10 minutes of him)
Dom DeLuise (Father Fyodor) was way too camp and overacting (even for him)
Frank Langella (Ostap Bender) was too pretty and not charming

The settings were really well done but most of the jokes of the book and the Russian version were lost.
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Twelve Chairs [1970] [DVD]
Twelve Chairs [1970] [DVD] by Mel Brooks (DVD - 2005)
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