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Blazing Saddles (1974)

tomatometer

67

Average Rating: 6.7/10
Critic Reviews: 6
Fresh: 4 | Rotten: 2

No consensus yet.

audience

91

liked it
Average Rating: 3.9/5
User Ratings: 215,034

My Rating

Movie Info

Vulgar, crude, and occasionally scandalous in its racial humor, this hilarious bad-taste spoof of Westerns, co-written by Richard Pryor, features Cleavon Little as the first black sheriff of a stunned town scheduled for demolition by an encroaching railroad. Little and co-star Gene Wilder have great chemistry, and the delightful supporting cast includes Harvey Korman, Slim Pickens, and Madeline Kahn as a chanteuse modelled on Marlene Dietrich. As in Young Frankenstein (1974), Silent Movie

Aug 27, 1997

Warner Bros. Pictures

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All Critics (48) | Top Critics (6) | Fresh (43) | Rotten (5) | DVD (34)

Goldarned if the whole fool enterprise is not worth the attention of any moviegoer with a penchant for what one actor, commenting on another's Gabby Hayes imitation, calls 'authentic western gibberish.'

August 22, 2008 Full Review Source: TIME Magazine | Comments (3)
TIME Magazine
Top Critic IconTop Critic

One of the funniest awful movies ever made.

April 2, 2008 Full Review Source: Chicago Reader | Comment (1)
Chicago Reader
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Although Cleavon Little and Gene Wilder head a uniformly competent cast, pic is handily stolen by Harvey Korman and Madeline Kahn. Kahn is simply terrific doing a Marlene Dietrich lampoon.

April 2, 2008 Full Review Source: Variety
Variety
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The screenplay is credited to five writers, and it shows in the confused melange of styles.

June 24, 2006 Full Review Source: Time Out | Comments (5)
Time Out
Top Critic IconTop Critic

It's a crazed grabbag of a movie that does everything to keep us laughing except hit us over the head with a rubber chicken.

October 23, 2004 Full Review Source: Chicago Sun-Times | Comments (2)
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Blazing Saddles has no dominant personality, and it looks as if it includes every gag thought up in every story conference. Whether good, bad, or mild, nothing was thrown out.

May 20, 2003 | Comments (6)
New York Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

It's the best [director] Brooks has ever offered his audience.

March 27, 2014 Full Review Source: Cinema Crazed
Cinema Crazed

...may look like a Western, but in actuality it takes place in just another corner of Mel Brooks' mad brain.

February 22, 2014 Full Review Source: LarsenOnFilm
LarsenOnFilm

Kids may not get all of Brooks' Old West parody.

January 1, 2011 Full Review Source: Common Sense Media
Common Sense Media

A lewd spoof of westerns and racial prejudice; enough laughs to cover the fact that it is, essentially, a stupid movie.

April 2, 2008 Full Review Source: TV Guide's Movie Guide | Comments (7)
TV Guide's Movie Guide

It's tough to beat as an outrageously phlegmy deposit in Hollywood's spittoon.

April 2, 2008 Full Review Source: Film4

I laughed and laughed while viewing this again. Maybe part of it was nostalgia, but part of it came from a refreshing feeling of being shocked once more.

May 26, 2006 Full Review Source: Combustible Celluloid
Combustible Celluloid

...at once a parody of old Western movies and a social satire on race and prejudice.

May 21, 2006 Full Review Source: Movie Metropolis
Movie Metropolis

Madeline Kahn was nominated for the Supporting Actress Oscar for her wonderful parody of all the cabaret singers that Dietrich used to play, including the comedy-Western Destry Rides Again.

April 29, 2006 Full Review Source: EmanuelLevy.Com
EmanuelLevy.Com

Chalk up Blazing Saddles as only a lampoon of Hollywood westerns and you miss the point by a Texas mile.... Its humor is the palliative that lets Brooks mock prejudices and, with gloves off, prejudiced people.

April 5, 2006 Full Review Source: DVDJournal.com
DVDJournal.com

Whacked out and brilliant. Eminently rewatchable.

November 10, 2005
Needcoffee.com

Still good for a few chuckles, but I find it somewhat overrated.

October 21, 2005 Full Review Source: FulvueDrive-in.com
FulvueDrive-in.com

Somehow the raunchy humor seemed to pass me by.

August 14, 2005 Full Review Source: Ozus' World Movie Reviews | Comments (2)
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

The funniest Mel Brooks film, Clevevon Little, who died far too young, is a comic genius. With the success of The Producers on Broadway maybe we can expect a stage version of Saddles which I'd pay good money to see.

December 27, 2004
Entertainment Insiders

Hilarious, irreverant western spoof. One of Mel Brooks' best.

October 16, 2004

Brooks' wholehearted embracing of rank vulgarity, together with his innovative quickfire sketch structure, titillated crowds more used to sophisticated Hollywood humour.

July 7, 2004 Full Review Source: Empire Magazine
Empire Magazine

Audience Reviews for Blazing Saddles

Though it may not have the cinematic output of his 1968 hit "The Producers",writer-producer-director Mel Brooks scored one of the biggest hits of the era. "Blazing Saddles" not only put Mel Brooks on the Hollywood map,but cemented his status as one of the great comedy directors of all time. Mel Brooks in 1974 was on a box-office rollercoaster scoring two of the biggest hits of that year. "Blazing Saddles" was a hilarious take on the Hollywood Western while his other smash "Young Frankenstein" was a hilarious take on the monster movies of the 1930's. "Blazing Saddles" at the time of its release was shocking and pointed-with its mixture of surrealism,slapstick,and groundbreaking vulgarity throughout,this was Mel Brooks' finest influential film that went on to become one of the top ten highest grossing films of 1974. Despite its hackeyned setting-the Old West-and it's 1970's veneer-hip gags about race and sex-it stands proud as one of his most brilliant works of his career (Mel Brooks was not only the 1950's comedy writer for "The Milton Berle Show",but Mel Brooks was one of the creative writers behind the 1960's television series "Get Smart")

"Blazing Saddles" nods to the zany comedy of the Marx Brothers and the slapstick parody of The Three Stooges,but owes a great deal to the deranged, parodic, reference-obsessed humor of MAD magazine,Brooks's film takes on that tradition-sight gags where Klansmen and Nazis wait in line to join an 1870's lynch mob, oxen with YES or NO painted on them, verbal references to other movies ("You'd do it for Randolph Scott!")-and puts it into the cinema for the first time. In doing so, not only it did spoof on Randolph Scott,but it spoof other Western greats like Gary Cooper and John Wayne,not to even mention it spoof Clint Eastwood and James Stewart. "Blazing Saddles" influnced the Zucker Brothers, the Wayans ,and other imitators,and hence invented a genre that still holds up today. The film was an extended riff of Gary Cooper's "High Noon",but its genius lies in being more than just a parody,"Blazing Saddles" adds additional layers to the comedic plot,most notable of which is the twist that the new sheriff is black played by Cleavon Little(whose career peaked with this film)who beat out Richard Pryor for the role of Sheriff Bart,and who is supported by an almost restrained Gene Wilder(whose career took off after this movie,and won the starring role in Mel Brooks' "Young Frankenstein"). "Blazing Saddles" had a hilarious cast ensemble that included comedy greats Harvey Korman, Madeline Kahn, and Dom DeLuise, and former NFL-great Alex Karras not to mention putting in actors that were known for starring in various Westerns like Slim Pickens, Dub Taylor,David Huddleston, Claude Starr Ennis, Jr., and Jack Elam. And has a cameo appearance by Count Basie. The movie upon its general release is laced with the usuge of racial words,not to mention vulgar sexual references throughout(the scene where Cleavon Little's sheriff Bart tells Madeline Kahn, "Excuse me while I pull this out!" is hilarious as it gets)not to mention the film's scene of cowboys eating beans around the campfire is the funniest ever. The phenomenal success of "Blazing Saddles" started a revolution in what was to be comedy,and set the tone for what was to come. That success almost produced a sequel which Warner Brothers was set to do two years after its release,but it did not come true. However, Mel Brooks went on to do "High Anxiety", "Silent Movie", the hilariously funny as hell "History of the World: Part 1",and his spoof on Star Wars "Spaceballs"........

After its general release, "Blazing Saddles" became a HUGE cult following as it became part of special midnight showings throughout the country for late show viewing,and to this day it still continues to be seen in theatres as part of that(it is second to 1975's "The Rocky Horror Picture Show" as the longest running theatrical showing of a film in existence).

From the local ad: "The movie Clint Eastwood and John Wayne REFUSED to make!"
January 22, 2014
rayman0071
Mister Caple

Super Reviewer

A fantastically offensive, hilarious satire on westerns and the film industry in general concerning a small town in the 1800's who have a tough time dealing with a black sheriff (Cleavon Little) taking over their town, as a greedy State Attorney (Harvey Korman) looks to get rid of the town in hopes of building a cheaper railroad route through it. In terms of the 70's, this is a foul-mouthed, super crude film that understandably got a lot of controversy seeing all the racist jokes involved. For that fearlessness, as well as a flat-out ridiculously hysterical finale that obliterates the fourth wall and pokes the film industry so hard in the ribs even they have to let out a laugh, this film is one of the best comedies of the 70's, and Brooks' second best film next to "Young Frankenstein".
September 27, 2012
Dan Schultz

Super Reviewer

A true classic comedy. With so many iconic performances and performances, mainily from the Gene Wilder as 'The Wacko Kid'. This is my most favoured Mel Brooks movie and more than worth a try for those who want to see classics/ highly recognised comedy movies.
August 29, 2012
Samuel Riley
Samuel Riley

Super Reviewer

This is probably one of the greatest comedies of all time, and definitely one of the top genre spoofs ever as well.

It's a send up of westerns, and a vulgar, race based satire that, to this day, still has the power to shock and raise eyebrows. The plot follows the exploits of the first black sheriff of a stunned western town set to be demolished by an encroaching railroad.

It's raw, crude, and quite hilarious. It is also highly unconventional, and earns tons of points for being ballsy and being the sort of thing that couldn't be made today, at least not without some major (and unfortunate) changes.

All in all, a must see film that is big on laughs, has a lot of brains, and gets in some good satire and subtext.
August 23, 2012
cosmo313
Chris Weber

Super Reviewer

    1. Reverend Johnson: Oh Lord! Do we have the strength to pull off this mighty task in one night...or are we just jerking off?
    – Submitted by Jared B (5 months ago)
    1. Mongo: Mongo only pawn in the game of life.
    – Submitted by Fred O (16 months ago)
    1. Bart: Are we awake?
    2. Jim the Waco Kid: We're not sure. Are we... black?
    3. Bart: Yes we are.
    4. Jim the Waco Kid: Then we're awake. But we're very puzzled.
    – Submitted by Fred O (16 months ago)
    1. Hedley Lamarr: If I could find a sheriff who so offends the citizens of Rock Ridge, that his very appearance would drive them out of town. [looks out to audience] Well, where would I find such a man? Why am I asking YOU?
    – Submitted by Jared B (19 months ago)
    1. Bart: So, what's your name?
    2. Jim the Waco Kid: My name is Jim. But most people call me......Jim.
    – Submitted by Tyler Tiberius M (19 months ago)
    1. Jim the Waco Kid: *holds up right hand* Look at that.
    2. Bart: Steady as a rock.
    3. Jim the Waco Kid: Yeah, but I shoot with this hand. *holds up right hand, shaking*
    – Submitted by S.R. H (22 months ago)
View all quotes (32)

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