One of Mel Brooks's best films, THE TWELVE CHAIRS was made before he discovered that nothing succeeds like excess. Based on a Russian novel from the 1920s that was translated into English by Doris Mudie and Elizabeth Hill and retitled Diamonds to Sit On
, this fast-paced period piece is
well-made, funny, and a pleasure to watch from start to finish. Shot on location in Yugoslavia, it begins as Moody, a onetime nobleman's son now reduced to working as a clerk for the government, is told by his dying mother that the family fortune was hidden in one of a set of a dozen chairs l0
years previously. In an attempt to claim the money, Moody returns to the family's fo...