Blazing Saddles - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Blazing Saddles Reviews

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Super Reviewer
October 19, 2014
An African-American sheriff protects a Western town threatened by a railroad expansion.
Let's take a look at some of the bits in this film. First, the bad guys want to discredit the sheriff, so they employ a prostitute to seduce him. She does, but because black men have large penises, she is grateful for their night of love-making and doesn't threaten his honor. Second, the sheriff outwits the bad guys by dressing up as a bellboy, who goes unnoticed because black people are meant to be in servile roles.
There's no doubt that there's a lot of satire here, but the film nonetheless commerces in racial stereotypes in ways that I find uncomfortable. Rather than finding the film funny, I found its social critique pedestrian, and while making fun of racism is good, repeating racial stereotypes can be dangerous even under the glass of satire. Perhaps if I had seen this film when it was first released, I would have found it valuable, but now I find it difficult to recommend.
Overall, with uncomfortable racial politics, i don't think this film hits the mark.
Super Reviewer
September 30, 2007
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!"
Super Reviewer
½ May 23, 2013
Mel Brooks is at his best in this dated but hilarious film.
Super Reviewer
½ October 24, 2007
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".
Samuel Riley
Super Reviewer
August 29, 2012
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.
Super Reviewer
½ June 9, 2006
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.
Super Reviewer
½ August 17, 2011
Blazing Saddles is an american classic, it may be one of the funniest spoofs ever made, and is also one of Mel Brooks best film.
Super Reviewer
½ August 27, 2011
Mel Brooks' Blazing Saddles is an essential comedy classic. The film is a must see spoof of the Western genre. Blazing Saddles is a brilliant film with plenty of laughs. Mel Brooks has assembled one terrific cast and they all deliver great performances. The thing that really stood out for Blazing Saddles, that I thought was very humorous was the deliberate use of many anachronisms. I thought the fact that it did so many times; it made this film so much funnier. The film is crude, but you can't deny its terrific use of comedy. This is one of the best films that Mel Brooks has made. Blazing Saddles is filled with hilarious comedic moments, and the cast involved definitely make this film worth seeing. If you're a fan of Westerns, but a more comedic element to the point it's a spoof, then Blazing Saddles is the film for you. There's a strong cast on screen, and they all deliver something, funny and clever that will appeal to viewers. If you're a fan of Mel Brooks' work, then give this one a viewing, or if you already have seen it, then pop it into your DVD player and revisit this timeless Western spoof. There's so much to love about Blazing Saddles and the comedy displayed on screen, is of course crude and vulgar at times, but its all in good fun. If you're a fan of Brooks' work, then you're most likely going to enjoy this real comedy classic. This is definitely not a comedy to miss out on. Superbly well acted and with sharp, witty comedy will make this a film that you'll remember for a long time.
Super Reviewer
January 12, 2007
Mel Brooks' comedy masterpiece Blazing Saddles has never lost any of its comedic value since its 1974 theatrical release. It holds just as much power for laughter as it did nearly 40 years ago. The amazing cast includes Gene Wilder, Harvey Korman, Slim Pickens, Madeline Kahn and a bit of inspired casting with Cleavon Little. Everybody is on top of their game with this one. Stories have been told that both John Wayne and Richard Pryor were asked to be in the film, with Pryor still sharing a screen credit today. I can't imagine what that version of the film would have been like but it's amazing to ponder. People consider Young Frankenstein the great Mel Brooks classic, but I consider it second to this. It's a far more superior comedy, and I guess a bit subversive also.
Super Reviewer
January 3, 2007
Still quite a funny spoof on westerns by today's standards.
Super Reviewer
June 23, 2011
Politically-incorred, vulgar, crude, infamous, nonsense. And I had a terrific time watching it.
Super Reviewer
June 6, 2011
"Excuse me while I whip this out." Blazing Saddles is the best spoof ever. A minute doesn't go by without a laugh. Some of them may be cheap laughs, but it's a Mel Brooks movie so that should be expected. It hits on so many cliches in the western genre, it's ridiculous and has so many scenes that are just classic. I'm glad Cleavon Little got the role of Bart instead of Richard Pryor. I can't see anybody else in that role not even Pryor. Blazing Saddles is easily one of Mel Brooks best films.
Super Reviewer
½ April 24, 2007
03/04/2011 (PS3/Blu-Ray)

I got this on Blu-Ray for a bargain and it looks the bloody same as DVD!! Anyway it is still a funny flick to watch and honestly, it is very childish at times in humor, it's probably why I enjoyed it more as a kid however, there are scenes where I just keep rewinding to laugh at cause I don't want to stop laughing... cause its good for my abs.

I love these "'Mel Brooks' flicks, they are tremendous in entertainment and
the fun is consistent. I like westerns and I like comedy so its a pretty gun-blazing fusion for me with laughing and looting, horses and humor and only now I noticed the suggestive themes that, believe it or not, I missed as a youngster, anyhow, I finally got it.

It's still got it! Not as funny as I remembered but it will leave you gutted from laughing the first time you experience a ride on one of these Blazing Saddles!
Super Reviewer
May 6, 2009
I was told this movie was supposed to be BLAZING. instead its just kinda like, grilled with some sweet and sour sauce.
Super Reviewer
½ September 5, 2010
My least favourite of Brook's comedy spoofs. I suppose it's because I don't like westerns anyway.
Super Reviewer
January 3, 2009
It's hard to dislike Mr. Brooks and his entourage of usual suspects.
Super Reviewer
October 28, 2007
loved it, a nice funny western that anyone can enjoy!!
i love gene wilder and this is a good movie to watch!
Super Reviewer
November 30, 2009
I actually think that next to Young Frankenstein, this is Mel Brooks' best movie. It is a great satire of the western era and critically analyzes the characters and mindset of the time. Gene Wilder was priceless and always gives such a great effort.
Super Reviewer
½ October 26, 2007
Ah, the 70's. A good time for Mel Brooks. Young Frankenstein would become one of his most beloved productions, Silent Movie gathered some of the most beloved actors and actresses for a homage to film styles long past and his Hitchcock parody High Anxiety impressed the director so much, he sent him a case of wine as congratulations, knowing that Brooks had a passion for wine.
And of course, perhaps his most well known film (though sometimes tied with the aforementioned Young Frankenstein and Spaceballs), which pulled off quite a few feats.

The plot? Well... a black man becomes sheriff of a town. Yep, simple as that. Well, OK, there is a little more to it but hey, it's a spoof on the western. That right there is pretty much all you need to know.
Said black man is Bart, played by Cleavon Little and, to quote the movie, is so talented. The character is clever, bold, gentlemanly to a point and noble, again, to a point. He and The Waco Kid (Gene Wilder, who shares an actor/director relationship with Mel Brooks on par with that of Depp and Burton) make a great combination, two good natured gentlemen just trying to keep the peace.

And who is disrupting that peace? Glad you asked! And if you didn't ask well... I'm still telling you. That would be our lead villain, Hedy Lamarr (that's HEDLEY!) played by Harvey Korman.
At this point, I would like to express that Hedy (HEDLEY!) is one of my absolute favourite screen villains of all time. Utterly charismatic, highly intelligent, complex and, just like the thespian portraying him, a great actor, able to convince most people of just about anything. Though I wonder if that's all him or just in part due to Korman's incredible talent and wonderful voice.
One of the more unusual moments involves what is often known as a "pet the dog" moment (though doesn't quite qualify since that's usually reserved for anti-heroes or gruff protagonists. Gran Torino's lead is a better example) which involves Hedy (HEDLEY, damnit!) in the bath. After divulging yet another evil scheme, he suddenly looks concerned. Why? He's wondering where his "fwoggy" is. After shouting at his hapless evil minion to find it, he's happy again and even says "Daddy loves Fwoggy. Does Fwoggy love Daddy?" to which he squeaks the frog and then looks content. Bizarre? Yes. Out of place? Not so much in a spoof but still odd. Kind of sweet? You bet.
One other aspect that makes him a villain to watch intently is that he has hints of being genre savvy and he breaks the fourth wall quite a bit (like when he's pondering about how he's going to find a new sheriff for Rock Ridge and then wonders why he's asking us, the audience) and this makes for some outrageous laughs towards the end (more on that later), especially with his line to the gang of villains he enlists in one last attempt to claim Rock Ridge as his own about how while they're risking his lives, he's risking an almost certain Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor. Now, if he had won that, not only would that have been well deserved but immensely funny too.

When it comes to a spoof/parody, the most important thing a person needs to know is if it's funny or not. To me, this is how a spoof should conduct itself (or failing that, they should follow almost anything involving the Zuckers, Leslie Neilson or some of Brooks' other work). Besides breaking the fourth wall and spouting anachronisms, mostly dealing with pop culture and technology, there are clever ideas, lampshade hanging on cliches (Hedy, *hears from offscreen again "That's HEDLEY!"* has disdain for "cutting off at the pass") and yes, even a farting scene. I must point out, that's the weak spot of the film for me. OK, beans cause gas. We get it, please move on. Supposedly, it's the first major film to include flatulence.
Scenes I do enjoy include Bart's way of handing Mongo (Alex Karras) Looney Tunes style (complete with music from said franchise); the aforementioned Mongo punching out a horse; the townspeople discovering the new sheriff is black; and one of the greatest things ever, Bart getting away from that hostile crowd by holding HIMSELF hostage!
Here's an excerpt from when he's pretending to be the hostage: "Oh, Lawdy-Lawd, he's desp'at! Do what he say, do what he saaaayyyy... do what he saaaayyyy..." putting on a gruffer voice when he's the madman taking himself hostage.

Without giving too many specifics of the ending, it's just mad! The characters from the movie break out onto another set, start a fight there and continue their brawling all around the movie lot and then Hedy (HEDLEY! *Cocks gun*)... whoa, take it easy! Anyway, Hedley (happy now? Put the gun down!) actually walks into a movie theatre and sits down to watch this film! Anyone thinking that's familiar will probably know that from a later Mel Brooks work, Spaceballs.

Also, I want to mention that the theme song is just wonderful. And the story behind it is quite amusing, too. Mel once put out an ad saying he wanted a Frankie Lane-type singer to do the song for the film. Frankie himself showed up and just wowed Mel over. Mel didn't have the heart to tell him it was a parody and kept the song anyway. Good thing, too. I do wonder if Frankie ever found out...

Throw in all that AND Madeline Kahn and you have yet another golden effort from Brooks. Now if you'll excuse me, there's a tollbooth that's mysteriously appeared here in this open land and I gotta get me a shitload of dimes.
Super Reviewer
½ May 24, 2009
I think I have seen funnier Mel Brooks films, but it was still funny and the end was awesome. :)
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