This Russian comedy is the sequel to The Twelve Chairs, which told of a madcap search by a con-man and a nobleman in post-communist Russia for a chair containing a king's ransom in hidden diamonds. Presumably dead at the end of the first film, charming con-man Ostap Bender (Sergei Yursky) is alive and kicking and looking for another way to get rich. He discovers an underground Soviet millionaire, Alexander Koreiko (Yevgeny Yevstigneyev), and begins blackmailing him in an attempt to accomplish his lifelong goal of having one million rubles. With that amount of money, he believes he could fulfill his dream of moving to Rio de Janeiro. In the pursuit of his many schemes, he uses an ill-assorted gang of fellow miscreants: Shura (Leonid Kuravlev) the simple-minded young ex-convict, Panikovsky (Zinovi Gerdt) an older con man, and the unusually unlucky driver Adam Kozlevich. He has many wild adventures in his quest. The witty and satirical novel on which this movie is based, written in 1930, was prohibited until the 1950s, when it became a cult novel in the USSR. It showed the drawbacks of the Soviet system with great humor and clarity. This movie was an immediate Eastern-bloc success and remains well-regarded there to this day, as it is enlivened by a number of superior performances.
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