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The Twelve Chairs

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Original title
The Twelve Chairs
Running time
93 min.
United States United States
Mel Brooks (Novel: Ilya Ilf, Yevgeni Petrov, Doris Mudie, Elizabeth Hill)
John Morris
Djordje Nikolic
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Crossbow Productions / The Twelve Chairs Company / Twelve Chairs Company. Distributed by Universal Marion Corporation
Comedy | 1920s
Synopsis / Plot
A treasure hunt. An aging ex-nobleman of the Czarist regime has finally adjusted to life under the commisars in Russia. Both he and the local priest find that the family jewels were hidden in a chair, one of a set of twelve. They return separately to Moscow to find the hidden fortune.

The follow-up to Brooks' 1968 debut The Producers, Brooks takes flight to newly communist Russia, where he appears briefly before turning the show over to an ex-aristocrat named Ippolit (Ron Moody) and a scheming opportunist named Ostap (Frank Langella). They search for Ippolit's chairs from the house he was thrown out of, because there's a fortune of jewels hidden in one. Together as part of a reluctant partnership, they go all through Russia to find the chair that holds the loot. They realize early on that they are racing against another aspiring thief, a priest named Father Fyodor (Dom DeLuise), who is trying to find the jewels and bring them back to "the people."
1971: National Board of Review: Best Supporting Actor (Frank Langella)
1971: Writers Guild of America (WGA): Nominated for Best Comedy Adapted from Another Medium
1970: Writers Guild of America (WGA): Nominated for Best Adapted Comedy Screenplay
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