12/17/2017  
Take Me To The River on Blu-ray & DVD Feb 5Phantom From 10,000 Leagues (1956) on Blu-ray & DVD Jan 5Condemned on DVD & Blu-ray Jan 5Broad City: Season 2 on DVD Jan 5McHale's Navy: The Complete Series on DVD No 17Return to Sender on Blu-ray & DVD Sep 29The Phantom of the Opera with Lon Chaney Blu-ray & DVD Oct 13

follow us on twitter

dOc on facebook

NE News Editor

Jennifer Esposito Is Your Newest NCIS Agent in Season 1...
Critics Are Split on Ghostbusters Reboot ...
'Respect is key': The Game, Snoop Dogg lead march to LA...
Kristen Stewart's Sheer Dress At 'Equals' Premiere -- S...
"A Slow Slipping Away"-- Kris Kristofferson's Long-Undi...
Fox News' Roger Ailes Sued for Sexual Harassment by Ous...
Garrison Keillor Retires from 'Prairie Home Companion' ...
Jennifer Aniston is Pregnant: Star Steps Out in Loose D...
Hiddleswift Is One Big Song Promotion -- A Theory...
Elvis Presley's daughter Lisa Marie Presley files for ...





Microsoft Store

Share: email   Print      Technorati.gif   StumbleUpon.gif   MySpace   digg.gif delicious.gif   google.gif   magnolia.gif   facebook.gif
Permalink: Permalink.gif



Buy from Amazon

Buy from Amazon.com

20th Century Fox presents
The Twelve Chairs (1970)

"We need thirty rubles to make our dreams come true."
- Bender (Frank Langella)

Review By: Jon Danziger   
Published: April 14, 2006

Stars: Ron Moody, Frank Langella, Dom DeLuise, Mel Brooks
Director: Mel Brooks

MPAA Rating: G
Run Time: 01h:33m:27s
Release Date: April 04, 2006
UPC: 024543167495
Genre: comedy


Style
Grade
Substance
Grade
Image Transfer
Grade
Audio Transfer
Grade
Extras
Grade
B BCB- D

DVD Review

First, let me confess to a sentimental weakness for The Twelve Chairs, a staple of my childhood. Its annual screening at the sleepaway camp where I spent my summers as a kid was more fun than the Fourth of July, and we looked forward to it with a fervor otherwise reserved for pennant races and color war. It's far from perfect, but it is a personal favorite.

This isn't Mel Brooks' most beloved or most hilarious movie, but in many respects it's his most endearing, his most sentimental. That's not to say that it doesn't have its share of loud and stupid humor, though, for it is still a Mel Brooks movie, after all. The story is set shortly after the ten days that shook the world, and the joke is on the Bolsheviks—despite the maxims of the party, human nature has everyone here thinking about such capitalist and bourgeois things as money and sex, mostly money. Ron Moody plays Voribyaninov, a former aristocrat brought low by the Revolution, who receives news both promising and horrifying from his mother-in-law on her deathbed: before the Communists came, she sewed the family jewels, millions of rubles' worth of diamonds and rubies and emeralds, into one of the family's dining room chairs. And so the chase is on, for the old woman has also shared the news in a final confession with the local priest, Father Fyodor, who is only too happy to trade in his vestments to find the gold in them thar Urals.

Voribyaninov is hopeless, though he soon teams up with the dashing young Ostap Bender, a grifter who hears the older man's story and wants to get a piece of the action for himself. Bender is played by Frank Langella, and much of the movie is a road buddy picture of sorts, featuring him and Moody—they're both gifted actors, but it doesn't seem like either is a natural comedian. Brooks was never one for subtlety, either, so there are frequent moments when his direction seems to have been: Louder! He's supplied them with enough punch lines and comic situations, though, to sustain the story, and the two vagabonds are sometimes genuinely moving, as their journey takes them across the U.S.S.R., to Leningrad and Moscow, Siberia to Irkutsk.

The real comic guns blaze in two supporting roles instead. First is Brooks himself, seen briefly as Tikon, Voribyaninov's manservant before the Revolution—he's a groveling, abused servant nostalgic for the old days, but easily waylaid by a snifter of strong vodka, and Tikon is a riot, like something off of one of the Brooks/Reiner comedy albums. He only gets about ten minutes of screen time, though, so best in show here is Dom DeLuise as Father Fyodor. DeLuise has the kind of unrestrained comic abandon that, in the best sense, seems to come from a different era—he's as close as we'll get these days to vaudeville or burlesque, and his very presence on screen, as the greedy manic man of the cloth ready to trade it all in for fists full of rubles, is enough to make you smile. He's on the take, and he doesn't much care who knows it, as long as there's a pot of gold at the end of his Russian rainbow—as Father Fyodor himself would say, Ya ya ya! Ya ya ya!

Rating for Style: B
Rating for Substance: B

 

Image Transfer

 One
Aspect Ratio1.85:1 - Widescreen
Original Aspect Ratioyes
Anamorphicno


Image Transfer Review: This looks like the same transfer as the previous DVD release of this title, pretty badly faded, though with only a modest amount of scratching.

Image Transfer Grade: C

 

Audio Transfer

 LanguageRemote Access
MonoEnglish, Spanishyes
DS 2.0Englishyes


Audio Transfer Review: Some buzz persists on both the mono and stereo tracks, but you won't miss a punchline.

Audio Transfer Grade: B-

 

Disc Extras

Static menu
Scene Access with 24 cues and remote access
Subtitles/Captions in English, Spanish with remote access
6 Other Trailer(s) featuring High Anxiety, History of the World, Part I, Robin Hood: Men In Tights, Silent Movie, To Be Or Not To Be, Young Frankenstein
Packaging: Box Set
Picture Disc
1 Disc
1-Sided disc(s)
Layers: dual

Extras Review: Only trailers for other titles in The Mel Brooks Collection.

Extras Grade: D

 

Final Comments

An uneven though occasionally deeply hilarious fable of the chase for the almighty ruble, demonstrating that human nature persists in all its greedy, lustful glory, no matter what the Bolsheviks may have told us.

 


Back to top

Search 10,000+ titles:

or Advanced Search

DVD REVIEW ARCHIVE


Get FREE Shipping on all orders at TimeLife.com! - 120x90

 



Microsoft Store

Keywords

television, jennifer esposito, blue bloods, ncis, mark harmon. duane henry, wilmer valderrama, michael weatherly, bull, movie, ghostbusters, comedy, chris helmsworth, melissa mcarthy, kristen wiig, celebrity, rap, game, shoop dogg, jayceon terrell taylor, alton sterling, kristen stewart, equals, jonathan simkhal, nicholas hoult, music, kris kristofferson, country music hall of fame, alzheimers, lyme disease, fox news, gretchen carlson, fox and friends, steve doocy, roger ailes, the real story with gretchen carlson, radio, garrison keillor, a prairie home companion, jennifer anniston, baby bump, justin theroux, taylor swift, tom hiddleston, calvin harris, lisa marie presley, michael lockwood, riley and benjamin keough, danny keough, michael jackson, nicolas cage, tom affleck, boston fan, bill simmons, hbo show, any given wednesday, tom brady, deflategate, hamilton, lin-manuel mianda, periscope, heart tweet machine, hamilton mixtape, cable, hbo, curb your enthusiasm, larry david, bernie sanders, saturday night live, maya and marty, christina grimmie, murdered, plaza live, before you exit, marcus grimmie, nashville, cmt, president brian phillips, the tonight show, jimmy fallon, president obama, the roots, hillary clinton, tim mcgraw, faith hill, maggie mcgraw, humble and kind, ellen degeneres show, titi pierce, coldwell banker robbins & free realty, hairspray live!, tracy turnblad, york theatre company, john waters, jennifer hudson, harvey fierstein, martin short, derek hough, j.k. rowling, harry potter and the cursed child, noma dumezweni, emma watson, judd apatow, paul freig, melissa mccarthy, romance, history channel, roots, remake, anika noni rose, t.i., malachi kirby, josh duhamel, transformers, fergie, black eyed peas, axl, double dutchess, abc, music city, grand ole opry, chip esten, lennon stella, the voice, alisan porterm, christina aguilera, ceelo green, ariana grande, sia, the little big town, 2016 billboard music awards, pink, just like fire, pamela neal, warrior princess, send my love (to your new lover), billboard music awards, adele, patrick daughters, bryan cranston, lbj, all the way, melissa leo, frank langella, todd weeks, hard sell, kristin chenoweth, wicked

On Facebook!
digitallyOBSESSED!
digitallyOBSESSED!
Promote Your Page Too

Visit:

Zarabesque.com

Original Magic Dress.com

Susti Heaven

Become a Reviewer | Search | Review Vault | Reviewers
Readers | Webmasters | Privacy | Contact
Microsoft Store