Blazing Saddles (1974) Review

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But we don’t want the Irish!

Blazing Saddles (1974): 10 out of 10: Mel Brooks takes on westerns when a hick town under attack from a corrupt attorney general gets a new sheriff. It turns out he is black. (Though to tell the family secret, his grandmother was Dutch.). A touching drama about acceptance and forgiveness does not ensue.

The Good

The Good: I can’t go a minute without laughing and I can recite the script in my sleep. Everything works. From the great songs to the acting and costumes. Blazing Saddles is a win all the way around.

The Bad

The Bad: Most comedies that are almost fifty years old are going to have some references and jokes modern audiences won’t get. And certainly seeing all those old western stars in small roles in the film will be lost on those not seeped in the genre. Still, the comedy works so brilliantly there are jokes for everyone.

Speaking of jokes for everyone, there is always a concern with old movies, particularly comedies, that the subject matter and language may not be appropriate for today’s more sheltered audiences. Well, I am happy to report that Blazing Saddles is as politically correct today as the day they released it.

The Ugly

The Ugly: I always enjoyed the cool demeanor from another time that Cleavon Little centers the film with. One of the keys to a good comedy is to have some grounding and, as crazy as Blazing Saddles is, it has some grounding thanks to Mr. Little.

So I question what Cleavon simply never became a bigger star than he did. He was so good in Blazing Saddles. He really makes the film. (Blazing Saddles writer Richard Pryor certainly would have been a good choice but Cleavon just had that straight man cool Richard didn’t at that time in his life.)

In Conclusion

In Conclusion: When Obama was elected President I thought of Sherrif Bart from Blazing Saddles. (His supporters were comparing him to Superman. An illegal alien. Really? Morons.)

I love that undercurrent in the film. The gradual acceptance of the other due to bad circumstances. (Except the Irish, of course. You got to have some standards.)

Mel Brooks throws everything at the screen, and it works. He learned some lessons from The Producers as Blazing Saddles has fewer dead spots and a rousing ending.

Mel would continue to make funny films (Young Frankenstein is a particular standout) but I don’t think he would ever make one as funny as Blazing Saddles.


And Camptown Races is now stuck in my head.
Harvey Korman is always a delight. He has rarely been more of a delight than he is in Blazing Saddles.
The hangman is such small part of Blazing Saddles and yet his few scenes are such a delight?
Ha ha ha ha ha…..
Yes, the Howard Johnson’s joke is dated. Heck, I am not entirely sure modern audiences would even get the reference with only one Hojo’s in the wild since the turn of the century. Still funny though.
For some reason, I have a lot of screen shots of this scene. Is it Robyn Hilton, as the governor’s secretary Miss Stein? Is it the Paddle ball game from my youth? It truly is a mystery.

I kept thinking that either Brooks or Korman were going to bend back the heads of one of the statues and push a red button like in the old Batman TV series.
The Zucker Brothers, in particular, owe a debt to Blazing Saddles.
Looks like the Sheriff is near.
Hold it, men. He’s not bluffing.
THE WHITE, GODFEARING CITIZENS OF ROCK RIDGE wish to express our extreme displeasure with your choice of sheriff. Please remove him immediately! The fact that you have sent him here just goes to prove that you are the leading asshole in the state!
We love Alex Karras.
They say that now, in Paris, France, even as we speak, Louis Pasteur has devised a new vaccine that will obliterate Anthrax once and for all. Think of it, gentlemen, hoof and mouth disease a thing of the past.
Not for nothing, Madeline Kahn is actually quite sexy and risque in Blazing Saddles.
Just think of your secretary.
I can’t help think that this is Joe Biden trying to console President Obama over the 2016 presidential election.
It is little touches, like The Teutonic Titwillow, that make all the difference.
Is Mel brooks supposed to be the Red Baron here? Snoopy?
Where the white woman at?
Really Mel? A badges gag with Mexican Bandits? That fruit is so low hanging you have to bend over to pick it.
Speaking of stupid… Okay, this cracks me up every single time.
Piss on you! I’m working for Mel Brooks!
They lose me after the bunker scene.
I want rustlers, cut throats, murderers, bounty hunters, desperados, mugs, pugs, thugs, nitwits, halfwits, dimwits, vipers, snipers, con men, Indian agents, Mexican bandits, muggers, buggerers, bushwhackers, hornswogglers, horse thieves, bull dykes, train robbers, bank robbers, ass-kickers, shit-kickers and Methodists.
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