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Blazing Saddles (1974) | Classic Theater


Blazing Saddles (1974)

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Let’s go back to 1974 with the late great Gene Wilder and Donald Sutherland in this French Revolution comedy.

What can you possibly say about one of the greatest movies of all time, one of the greatest, off-color, politically incorrect movies ever made that hasn’t been said?

One thing’s for sure, in today’s PC world, a movie like this couldn’t even be made and yet it’s movies like this that poked fun at the stereotypes that are part of our history of bringing people together by seeing that we’re all flawed, have been and will forever be.

I’ve been a Mel Brooks fan since a child. Anything he did, I was in line at the movies, as a kid to see. Whether it was The 12 Chairs, High Anxiety, Silent Movie, I was there. For Young Frankenstine, MY GOD! I’ve seen it more times than I saw Bedknobs & Broomsticks (49 times)

There’s so many raw, rude scenes with hilarious one-liners in this movie that take shots at everyone and it never ends! All stereotypes are called out and all rightfully ridiculed.

MeL Brooks directed this classic starring Cleavon Little and Gene Wilder,

The movie was written by Brooks, Andrew Bergman, Richard Pryor, Norman Steinberg and Alan Uger, and was based on Bergman’s story and draft.

The movie was nominated for three Academy Awards and is ranked No. 6 on the American Film Institute’s 100 Years…100 Laughs list.

Adding to his jack-of-all-trades guy, Brooks also appears in three supporting roles, Governor William J. Le Petomane, a Yiddish-speaking Native American chief and “a director” in line to help invade Rock Ridge (a nod to Hitchcock); he also dubs lines for one of Lili von Shtupp’s backing troupe.

The supporting cast includes Slim Pickens, Alex Karras and David Huddleston, as well as Brooks regulars Dom DeLuise, Madeline Kahn and Harvey Korman. Bandleader Count Basie has a cameo as himself, appearing with his orchestra.

The film satirizes the racism obscured by myth-making Hollywood accounts of the American West, with the hero being a black sheriff in an all-white town. The film is full of deliberate anachronisms, from the Count Basie Orchestra playing “April in Paris” in the Wild West, to Slim Pickens referring to the Wide World of Sports, to the German army of World War II.

In 2006, Blazing Saddles was deemed “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant” by the Library of Congress and was selected for preservation in the National Film Registry.

To give you an idea of how popular this movie was, it’s budget was a little over 2.5 million and brought in almost 120 million dollars at the box office… in 1974!

Click here for more on the movie

Source: Sal Amato


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