peteg's blog - noise - movies - 2023 11 05 TheTwelveChairs

The Twelve Chairs (1970)

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After too much Werner Herzog it was time for more Mel Brooks. This was his second outing as director. A young Frank Langella leads erstwhile aristocrat Ron Moody around Russia, ten years after the revolution, looking for one chair amongst many. Langella plays a suave young lothario not too far from his role in Diary of a Mad Housewife from the same year. Orthodox priest Dom DeLuise searches independently, nuttily, having learned of the MacGuffin from the dying matriarch's confession: it is God's will that he finds it but He is strict. As a panto it has its moments but is generally too diffuse.

Roger Ebert: four stars. Vincent Canby: innocently joyless. Apparently based on a Soviet comic novel.