Blazing Saddles: review
Ah, Mel Brooks.
In his prime, one of the funniest men working in film. One of the last to do racial humor without meanness, one of the last carriers of the vaudeville gene, a ballsy director never afraid to go over the top.
Blazing Saddles is high on the list of most quotable films — my screenshots barely caught half of the good lines. It brings together some of the best comedic talents in the day, from the laid back and staid Gene Wilder to the goofy prat of Dom DeLuise. And, as ever, Madeline Kahn steals the stage whenever she appears onscreen.
Some of the humor is a bit dated, and the N-Word may elicit a gasp from modern audiences, but I think even now it’s clear that the racism was a function of the assholes int he film, not the message, real or implied, of the film itself. It is, in fact, a pretty strong statement against racism, and in favor of assholes getting their due and the good guys riding off into the sunset.
In addition to cultural statements, vaudeville nods and all, this sucker fucked up the 4th wall but good, and I love it. Mismatched bracketing, too (note the popcorn bucket, for example).
Just all-around brilliant. I’ll probably get to other Mel Brooks films in time, but right now it’s time to come forward in time to another master of camp comedy, John Waters, with Crybaby.
This is Scix in the Back Row, getting no kick from champagne.
Blazing Saddles (1974) directed by Mel Brooks. Starring Cleavon Little, Gene Wilder, Harvey Korman, Slim Pickens, Dom DeLuise, Madeline Kahn, Mel Brooks, and Alex Karras as Mongo.