The Twelve Chairs ★★★½

Mel Brooks' follow-up to The Producers isn't quite as farcical or outlandish, nor as blunt as Blazing Saddles and the movies to come. The result is a strange creature, half Russian buddy film, half caper film. Ron Moody and Frank Langella are perfect in their roles as a fallen nobleman and an incredibly handsome young con artist, in search of the family jewels that were sewn into one of the titular chairs before the Revolution. Dom DeLuise seems to be acting in another movie entirely (he usually did), but that movie looks hilarious.

Its uneven tone finally weighs against it, but it stands as an intriguing movie, causing one to wonder what Brooks might have achieved had he continued in this direction, rather than the confrontational Hellzapoppin' course his movies took after Blazing Saddles