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Blazing Saddles

Never give a saga an even break! 

Year: 1974 
Running Time:
Aspect Ratio: 2.39:1 (Scope) 
Certificate: AA 
Subtitles: The level of subtitling in this film is unknown to WSC 
Directed by Unknown 
Starring: Unknown  
An image from Blazing Saddles

Blazing Saddles is a film which rides out of the desert and assaults you! More realistic than The Outlaw Josie Wales, more gripping than High Noon, more brutal than The Wild Bunch, and funnier than any other film ever made!

Mel Brooks and Blazing Saddles give us a parody of every single Western you have ever seen and then some.

The basic story is that greedy old Hedley Lamarr (Harvey Korman) wants to get his hands on the town of Rock Ridge, so he can put a railroad through it; so he persuades the wonderfully inept Governor of the State, played by Mel Brooks, to install a Black Sheriff in this racist, bigoted community, hoping to create so much chaos that his gang of cowboys can just ride in, and take over the town. Naughty old Hedley had not counted on the genius of Bart (Cleavon Little), the new Sheriff. Along with his new found partner, an ex-gunfighter (Gene Wilder, for once in his life under-acting) they set out to beat the bad guys and save the town.

As with films like Airplane, or The Naked Gun series, no one really gives a toss about the story line, so if you're looking for a well developed plot, with fleshed out characters - you're very sad, and should come and see Blazing Saddles for a laugh. It is an amazingly graceless and crude film, poking fun at anything and everything that it can get its hands on. It doesn't stick to any real style of humour: Slapstick, farce, sarcasm, parody, but flings itself wildly across the comedic spectrum throwing out jokes quicker than the audience can catch them.

The best points of Blazing Saddles are its set pieces; a group of railroad workers singing a barbershop version of "I get no kick from champagne"; Gene Wilder's shoot out with six bad guys without moving his gun, the climatic building of a replica town of Rock Ridge in 5 hours, the "Bean" scene, and the entry into town of Mongo!

If you've seen other films by Mel Brooks (Space Balls, Young Frankenstein) and enjoyed them, this is his best by far. If you hated his other films (you fools), or haven't seen any you MUST come to see this classic comedy, and then spend the rest of the term quoting it to your friends!

John Russell.

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Screenings of this film:

1994/1995 Spring Term (35mm)
2018/2019 Summer Term (35mm)