Friday, August 29, 2014

Flick Pick: Blazing Saddles

Blazing Saddles
(Warner Bros., 1974)

The other funny western, the one so edgy then, let alone now, that no studio would dare make it today, and the product of pure comedy genius. Warner did exactly two things right: they greenlighted the film, and they gave Mel Brooks final creative say in what was in or out.  Brooks' writing team included Richard Pryor, and the execution of the script was wonderfully accomplished by the dream team of Cleavon Little, Gene Wilder, and Harvey Korman. It's a non-stop 95 minute send up of every western movie and cliché accumulated in the prior sixty years of Hollywood filmmaking, throwing in everything but a pie fight and a kitchen sink in pursuit of that objective. In response, it got three Oscar nominations, brought in $119M on a $2.6M budget, and probably contributed more to better race relations in America than any ten years of the civil rights movement.

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