The Ballad of Buster Scruggs
Ant-Man and the Wasp
Log in with Facebook
Forgot your password?
Don't have an account? Sign up here
and the Terms and Policies,
and to receive email from Rotten Tomatoes and Fandango.
Already have an account? Log in here
Please enter your email address and we will email you a new password.
No consensus yet.
Tomatometer Not Available...
No consensus yet.
All Critics (22)
| Top Critics (1)
| Fresh (18)
| Rotten (4)
Brooks has taken a considerably stylistic risk and pulled it off triumphantly.
... fun from beginning to end... [Full review in Spanish]
What disconcerts me about Mr Brooks is his obviousness, the lack of any true surprise in his gags.
Silly strained comedy.
Not Brooks' best, but still funny
While Blazing Saddles and Young Frankenstein stride across the land with seven-league boots, Silent Movie glides on tip-toe like Bugs Bunny in ballet slippers.
Mel Brooks has never known when a joke is worthy of a five-minute bit and when it's something you can flesh out into a full length feature.
Largely a success due to some very funny sight gags, but even at a brief 87 minutes, Brooks seems to be stretching things to feature-film length in the last half-hour.
Low end of Mel Brooks' films.
Mel Brooks was THE comic master of the 70's
Brooks' tribute to silent cinema has its drawbacks, but his obvious affection for pre-talkies saves the day.
Nearly everything is done in that special Mel Brooks brand of broad comedy that quickly palls for all but the faithful.
In the 1970's Mel Brooks was the cinematic comedy genius. He created the most celebrated western parody with Blazing Saddles, a wager that paid off. During that same glorious year of 1974 he delivered Young Frankenstein, a tongue in cheek look at the Universal monster movies that he also released in black and white. Brooks wasn't afraid to go way outside the box to deliver his films, which brings us to his 1976 film Silent Movie.
Silent Movie follows the antics of Mel Funn (Brooks), Marty Eggs (Marty Feldman), and Dom Bell (Dom DeLuise). The trio has a plan to make a silent movie, forty years after talkies took over the cinema. The main focus of the film is to get big stars for their trip into nostalgia, such as Burt Reynolds, James Caan, Liza Minelli, and Anne Bancroft as a way to produce a hit for the studio that is on the edge of being consumed by a conglomerate. Hilarity ensues.
Oh, did I mention that the film is also silent? Yes, Mel Brooks accomplished a silent film in 1976. The man could do no wrong. The first thing we need to get out of the way is that when compared to Blazing Saddles and Young Frankenstein, Silent Movie is the weakest of the three. So if you're expecting an equivalent, don't do it. Now taken on its own this is a pretty funny film. Mel Brooks delivers a film with slap stick and uses silent film conventions in the modern era. The film works, but it's doesn't quite achieve the greatness of Brooks work two years prior, mainly due to the limitations of making a silent film.
The thing I ask myself is that after creating two of the greatest comedies of our time did Mel Brooks submit this film as a joke because the studios thought he could do no wrong? I can just imagine him being asked what his next film would be and him saying, tongue in cheek, that he was going to do a silent movie and the studio went wild over the idea. Even though set with an early 20th century motif, it does comment on the film industry of the 1970's, mainly in the fall of the studios to the conglomerates that gobbled them up. The studio system was dead and this film partially examines its obituary. Silent Movie isn't Brooks best work, but it is a funny film that is lulled by its main premise. It's still enjoyable after 40 years and spotlights the audacity of the film industry's greatest comedic genius.
Clever idea for a 15 minute short film is dragged out to a full-length feature. Not only does the gimmick get old fast, but the non-silent era stars don't have the chops to pull off expressive silent acting. I almost never laughed. At least the theater will be quiet enough for you to fall asleep during this dud.
In case you're wonder, yes this movie is silent! Brooks brings us nostalgia of the old silents, and it is hilarious. If you like his films, I highly recommend seeing this one too.
so bad it's good, brooks, as usual ("if it works, don't fix it") mugs his way thru this movie about the very movie yer watchin' ("a brilliant idea!!!"), the promised homage to silent films is trampled somewhere, raped in an alley and left for dead. what's left is bits and pieces. the women steal the show here, bancroft and peters turning in the only valid performances. the best part is unintended, wherein "the stars" pose for cameos in the credits "as themselves" and we get to see their apparent discomfort playing that part. it was made in the seventies, and mere nostalgia prompted me give this film one more star than it deserved, and maybe a star and a half.
View All Quotes
200 Essential Movies
Chosen by RT staff!
200 Freshest Movies
The best-reviewed since 1998
30 Great Scenes
30 great scenes in Rotten movies
Best of Netflix
Movies and shows to binge now
More News & Features