The year is 1927. The place is the recently formed Soviet Union (although it's much easier to just call it Russia). When a man (Ron Moody) discovers his dying mother placed all of the family jewels into one chair in a set of twelve, he sets off along with a con man (Frank Langella) to track down the fortune. Unfortunately, his mother's greedy priest (Dom DeLuise) hears of The Twelve Chairs, he goes a-hunting for them as well. And the great race begins.
This is a movie which is normally glossed over, as it is in between The Producers and Blazing Saddles. It's also not as outrageous (except in DeLuise's priest). But it's a different style from the "traditional" Mel Brooks. It's got more somewhat sober moments than most of his other work, and Brooks is only in the movie for a couple of short scenes. For many parts it barely feels like a Mel Brooks movie.
That's not to say it isn't enjoyable. It has history-based jokes (don't worry, it's all pretty well-known stuff), pure silly one-liners, and a fantastic parody of classic "chase movie" cinema, complete with sped-up characters and high-pitched voices. It's easy to see how this one gets lost in the crowd, but it's definitely worth a look.
My rating: 7.5/10
Coming Soon: Blazing Saddles... the legend rides on.