January 14th: And it burns, burns, burns…

 

24. Blazing Saddles (Mel Brooks, 1974)

 

Here I am with another in the long line of classics that I somehow managed to miss over the years. It’s pretty easy to see why this film has lasting appeal as I laughed out loud whilst sat in the house on my lonesome. It’s quotable, packed with gags both big and small and it doesn’t let up. Blazing Saddles takes the Western and embraces it, subverts it and finally perverts it. Cleavon Little is fantastic as the newly appointed Sheriff and Gene Wilder is an excellent foil. The rest of the film roars along until the slightly disappointing final scenes, once the sheriff is accepted by the townsfolk then the film understandably loses some of its zeal. That’s forgiven though as Blazing Saddles has retained its overall charm and most of its gags still hit.

 

Everyone has a favourite bit in a film like this, mine has to be ‘Where all the white women at?’ Yours?

 

Note: Blazing Saddles is listed in the Neon book 1000 Essential Movies on Video under ‘Comedies (American)’.

3 thoughts on “January 14th: And it burns, burns, burns…”

  1. “Look at that”.
    “Steady as a rock.”
    “Yeah, but I shoot with this hand.”

    “Up yours, nigger” (as delivered by an old woman)

    So much good stuff 🙂

  2. The bit near the end with Dom DeLuise directing a musical always makes me laugh.

    I wonder if the “WROOOONG!” Kevin Spacey delivers in Superman Returns was nabbed from this scene in Blazing Saddles?

  3. “Everyone has a favourite bit in a film like this”

    Mine is Duck Soup!

    Blazing Saddles has possibly the best ending of any film I have seen though… more unexpected than Girl on a Motorcycle, and funnier than all the endings to the American Pie films (that seem to have ‘borrowed’ most of their funniest moments from Mel anyway). In fact, if American Pie ended in a huge cream pie fight I might not have felt so empty and angry afterwards. You know that would have worked out better.

    I like how Mel always brings in a pseudo cinema audience in the over-dub, like in the scene with Bart putting his hand down his pants before saying, ‘Excuse me while I whip this out!’. Mel over dubs the audience gasping and screaming til he finally pulls out a map… then they all breath sighs of relief.

    You don’t tend to get that level of inventiveness in Cinema these days, guess it’s because it doesn’t transcend well to DVD. Bah, they should shoot one film but have two over dubs in that case… give em a worthwhile DVD extra for a change…

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