Monday, May 16, 2011

064 - Blazing Saddles (1974)

DVD Box
Blazing Saddles is a spoof comedy of Western cowboy films.

Set in 1874, corrupt Governor aide Hedley Lamarr (Harvey Korman) decides that he needs to own some land where a major railway is being built. In order to remove a town that already exists in the area, he persuades the Governor (Mel Brooks - also directing) to install Bart (Cleavon Little) as the first black sheriff in the hope that it drives the townspeople away.

After initially disliking Bart, the townsfolk (all called Johnson) take him in their stride once he saves the town from local bully Mongo with his new friend Jim - who everyone calls... Jim.

As the aide prepares one final assault on the town to wrestle it from the people, Bart must create a ludicrously outrageous plan to save it.
Theatrical Poster
Source: Wikipedia
Blazing Saddles is certainly not for the faint-hearted. Those who are particularly liable to taking offence in the wrong way should not watch this film as director Mel Brooks pokes fun at everyone with his exaggerated stereotypes and strongly-worded ,but light-hearted  - racial abuse.

The film's opening is testament to the rest of the film, with the 'N' word getting more than enough use for a single film, and other fun being poked at the stupidity of all of humanity - rather than singling out a specific race or gender. Heady Hedley talks down to his staff while they talk down to him as well in a role that mocks the generic stance of "boss and minions".

Towards the end the film enters further into the ludicrous which brings upon an ending which I think rather ruins the other fun of the rest of the film. Instead of sticking to parodying just Western films, Brooks decides to attempt to look satirically at all of Warner Bros. and this is perhaps a step too far.

Until this point though, a deliriously funny comedy that is jam-packed with just as many laughs per minute as Airplane!.

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