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Ivan Vasilyevich Changes His Profession

'Ivan Vasilyevich Changes His Profession' (1973)
Directed by Leonid Gaidai

Completely bonkers early 1970s Soviet comedy. A man invents a time machine and inadvertently sends his next door neighbour back to sixteenth century Moscow - where he discovers he looks like Tsar Ivan the terrible. He and a friend have to disguise themselves and act like they know what they're doing in order to avoid being beheaded.

Meanwhile the real Ivan the terrible has switched places and is running around an apartment block with a poleaxe in modern day Moscow.

It's slapstick, has musical numbers, is very basic comedy but for some reason I kept going. It has touches of Monty Pythonesque surrealism and is actually laugh out loud funny in places, even if some of the Soviet jokes were lost on me.

Only 88 minutes long, so worked a treat for when you need something light hearted that didn't take itself at all seriously.