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Blazing Saddles

Blazing Saddles – 1974
Never give a saga an even break!

Mel Brooks

Andrew Bergman
Mel Brooks
Norman Steinberg
Richard Pryor
Alan Uger

Michael Hertzberg producer

Cleavon Little – Bart
Gene Wilder – Jim (The Waco Kid)
Slim Pickens – Taggart
David Huddleston – Olson Johnson
Liam Dunn – Rev. Johnson
Alex Karras – Mongo
John Hillerman – Howard Johnson
George Furth – Van Johnson
Jack Starrett – Gabby Johnson
Mel Brooks – Gov. William J. LePetomaine/Indian chief
Harvey Korman – Hedley Lamarr
Madeline Kahn – Lili Von Shtupp
Carol DeLuise – Harriett Johnson
Richard Collier – Dr. Sam Johnson
Charles McGregor – Charlie
Don Megowan – Gum chewer
Robyn Hilton – Miss Stein
Karl Lukas – Cutthroat #1
Dom DeLuise – Buddy Bizarre
Burton Gilliam – Lyle
Count Basie – Himself
John Alderson – Gum chewer
Anne Bancroft – Extra in church congregation

Review by Theo Robertson

Blazing Saddles (1974)

Political Correctness Is A Terrible Thing,
No doubt pseudo-intellectuals (I.e. People who only think they’re clever) will claim that BLAZING SADDLES deconstructs the traditional western by pointing out how fundamentally racist the genre is. I’ve no idea how much truth there is in that because I was too busy laughing at what was happening on screen. Yeah the N word figures a lot but let’s not forget one of the screenwriters is a famous black stand up comedian and that everyone be they black, white or Jewish are targets for the outrageous events in this movie so I fail to see what’s racist about it. It is of course politically incorrect but hands up anyone who’s seen a politically correct comedy that made them laugh?

I won’t bother to go into any detail as to how funny BLAZING SADDLES is except to say I remember seeing it years ago and watched it again at the weekend. Unlike a great number of 70s movies I have fond memories of this is one film that didn’t disappoint me after a long absence

Review by Jack Gattanella

Blazing Saddles (1974)

“Excuse me while I whip this out.” Dead-pan funny,
Blazing Saddles is one of the funniest movies to not only to come from Mel Brooks, but from cinema itself. Film stars Cleavon Little as a regular black laborer, but then a villain (Heldey Lamarr is perfectly played by Harvey Korman) wants to move a community out of the town Rockridge. So, he brings Cleavon in to make the people leave (the people in town are racist including the line: “The sherrif is a nig! “What’d he say?” “He said the sherrif’s a near).

Funny story, funny jokes (the farting sequence is ahead of it’s time for 1974) and 2 breakthroughs- Madedline Kahn in a Oscar nominated performance as Von Shtupp and shines through. The other is Richard Pryor, who co-writes the script with Brooks and Andrew Bergman. Hilarious, forever. A+

Blazing Saddles (1974)

Review by Wayne Malin

Time has not been kind to this one,
A Western parody by Mel Brooks. Dastardly Hedley Lamarr (Harvey Korman) needs to run a railroad through a town. To get rid of the townspeople he has villains run wild, attacking townspeople. Black sheriff Bart (Cleavon Little) and the Waco Kid (Gene Wilder) fight back.

This was a huge hit in 1974–it was considered daring and uproariously funny. Seen today it doesn’t hold up. The daring parts are very tame in the wake of comedies we have today and some of these jokes are pretty despearate. Also I got more than a little tired of hearing a certain word beginning with “n” constantly used as a joke. And there’s virtual nonstrop swearing from the rest of the cast. Most of the movie is pretty dull (when the jokes in this movie bomb they REALLY bomb!) And the last 10 minutes are just dreadful (and horribly homophobic).

I’m giving it a 6 for a few reasons. Little is very good, handsome and heroic in his role. Wilder is VERY funny as the washed up Kid. Some of Korman’s snearing and scheeming is funny. And Madeline Kahn is absolutely hysterical doing a Marlene Dietrich impersonation as Lily von Shtupp (she’s terribly underused but got a nomination for Best Supporting Actress). Also there’s a Count Basie cameo and some very good songs throughout.

Still, all in all, this isn’t that funny. The movie’s most infamous scene has a bunch of cowboys sitting around a fire eating beans and breaking wind. THAT’S what this movie considers funny. Mel Brooks’ best film is still “Young Frankenstein”.

Blazing Saddles (1974)

Review by Zetes

Terrible! Godawful!,

One of the least funny comedies that I’ve ever sighed through and one of the most overrated pieces of crap I can think of. I like a couple of Brooks’ movies. Young Frankenstein I would call his masterpiece, and The Producers is pretty funny. After that, Silent Movie is okay. Spaceballs is good for some cheap laughs. But he can make quite the awful film when he wants to.

Remember the Hitchcock parody, High Anxiety? That sucked big time, but I liked Blazing Saddles even less. I giggled a couple of times, but there was only one big laugh. Most of the funnier jokes were ruined by a 60 seconds long promo I saw on Comedy Central! Cleavon Little, Gene Wilder, and Slim Pickens try their damndest to make it work, but they have no material to work with whatsoever. Some of the racial comedy might have worked back when Richard Pryor first started his career, but it’s all hopelessly dated.

And is it just me, or do others cringe whenever Madeline Kahn shows up in a Mel Brooks movie? I guess I laugh at her in Young Frankenstein, but she does little but embarrass the production when she comes on screen. 4/10.

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70s Films

A tour through the great and not so great films of the seventies The seventies saw a huge change in styles and genres from the advent of the slasher horror movies like Halloween and the blockbuster summers films started by Jaws. More...

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