The thief, Korkis, escapes from prison right on the eve of the church holiday, St. Jorgen’s Day. Together with his accomplice, Schulz, he admires the commercial wile of the local priests and resolves to embezzle money from the ministers.
On St. Jorgen’s Day, the priests sell a number of bogus saintly trinkets, ranging from a tear of St. Jorgen in a bobble to a lock of his hair. The line for these holy items stretches a mile long. A highlight of the celebrations is the choosing of a ceremonial bride for St. Jorgen. A candidate for this role is chosen from among the clergy and the winner receives a handsome cash prize. However, just like with the bogus trinkets, the church rigs this competition. This year, the local bishop has preselected his relative, Oleandra, to win.
You’ll have to watch this wild movie to find out how the swindlers manage to pull off a lively heist against the church.
From a film history perspective, St. Jorgen’s Day has much of interest to offer. It was filmed partly as a silent film and partly as a dubbed film. This makes for a somewhat unique viewing experience that fits in well with the zany, rhapsodical plot. On top of that, a number of early Soviet cinema greats participated in the making of this film. The well known authors and comedians of 12 Chairs fame, Ilya Ilf and Evgeny Petrov, worked on the script. St. Jorgen’s Day also features brilliant Yakov Protazanov as co-director and the prolific actor, Igor Ilyinsky.