Silent Movie - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Silent Movie Reviews

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Super Reviewer
½ August 20, 2016
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.
½ April 15, 2016
The slapstick is what makes this movie great. Mel Brooks has a gift for comedy.
February 7, 2016
After finding out recently that Mel Brooks made more bad films than good ones, I was very pleased to find this was in the latter category. The cast in this is very impressive but the real star is Marty Feldman who provided the best comedy moments. This is generally a pretty funny film and well worth a watch.
December 12, 2015
An interesting idea at the time. I don't know if you want to watch a silent movie for an hour and a half.
September 13, 2015
Mel Brooks, Marty Feldman, and Dom DeLuise are great, playing three stooges-like roles. The movie is very funny, but being a one trick pony, it gets old after a while. It is almost like watching old Three Stooges or old cartoons, but those were all 10 minute shorts. At almost an hour and a half, it just gets a bit tiring.

Mel Brooks accomplishes something unique and different, even if not a homerun success like some of his other movies. Those who are fans of Mel Brooks should check it out though.
August 29, 2015
Mel Brooks kicks it old school with this screwball comedy full of wildly enjoyable slapstick.
½ June 29, 2015
Mel Brooks is my favorite director and this film will be added into my favorites from him. Brooks, DeLuise, and Feldman are spectacular as always showing off their awesome psychical comedy skills. Sid Caesar and Bernadette Peters are also great in their supporting roles as are the cameos from Liza Minnelli, Burt Reynolds, James Caan, Anne Bancroft, Paul Newman, and Marcel Marceau. Great script, score, art direction, costumes, and sound design too
May 3, 2015
Fun slapstick. Some great gags. Mel Brooks really had some balls. Great guest appearances too.
½ February 20, 2015
For a silent film, it sure made me laugh out loud.

Grade: B+
½ December 25, 2014
not my fave mel brooks but still watchable
December 5, 2014
Really enjoyed this loving nod to silent cinema. Though the hit to miss ratio of his jokes is lower than his masterpieces here, he and the actors truly understand and love the unique qualities that made silent cinema such a joy in the first place--and it was a fitting gesture for him to involve many actors, still alive, who had made their start in the original age.
September 15, 2014
Mel Brooks sends up both the silent film era (in particular the slapstick work of Chaplin and Keaton), as well as the corporate takeover of Hollywood in this comedy made in the 1970s. Brooks plays Mel Funn, and he and his cohorts of Dom Bell (Dom DeLuise) and Marty Eggs (Marty Feldman) attempt to save a Hollywood Studio with a silent movie starring the biggest stars in Hollywood, and prevent Engulf and Devour (a clear parody of Gulf+Western) from taking over the studio. It is great to see big strs from the 70s not taking themselves seriously, and I enjoyed the parody and genuine slapstick nonsense that ensues. Good fun for any Brooks fan.
½ August 2, 2014
Silent Movie is everything I love, silent film and comedy. Silent Movie is a bow to some great comedy but to silent films as well. It is nice to see a more modern silent comedy. It was clever and extremely hilarious. It's one of those few movies that can take physical humor and make it laugh out loud funny. If I had to complain I only had one. Some of the moments in this movie are pointless and could be left out because they are more like fillers just for some extra laughs. But for the most part the movie combines silent film and comedy well. This is definitely an over shadowed Mel Brooks comedy I highly recommend.
July 16, 2014
This one is a stitch. It's definitely more for hardcore Mel Brooks fans. It's got wit, humor, and 1970s slapstick. What more could one ask for?
June 7, 2014
Mel Brooks seems to amaze once more by making a hilarious silent movie, or partially silent, as one word is spoken by an unlikely candidate. Fast-paced, this slapstick take on silent movies is so great.
May 18, 2014
January 29, 2014
Original and hillarious, Silent Movie adds a new classic to the slapstick genre.
December 27, 2013
Brooks shows off all his comedic ambition by making a slapstick silent movie, the first feature length silent movie in over three decades. The film is about a filmmaker with a plan to make a silent film to save a small penniless studio. Though the project is admirable, it finds it hard to keep the same energy all troughout; it goes a little downhill. However, sprinkled with some cameos from some of the biggest names of the times, like Newman, Caan and Bancroft, this film remains a gem.
½ December 12, 2013
I have now seen almost all of Mel's films and I am definitely a fan of all but a few. Basically he should have stopped in 1981 after History of the World Part I, I did not enjoy Space Balls, Robin Hood, and least of all Dracula: Dead and Loving It. Everything before that is classic stuff and Silent Movie is in there. If you compare this with the classic silent comedies of the 20's it's part homage, part spoof, mostly good old fashioned fun. Several moments were laugh out loud ones and they were spread out nicely. The big star cameos of the time ad the perfect touch of realism and camp to the film. You sort of want to see this movie they're making and then realize it's what you're watching, it's sort of a movie about itself. It's clever and funny. There's no real sad or romantic/serious moments, it's just one rather silly and enjoyable 70's Hollywood romp.
September 21, 2013
There are some really funny scenes but on average you don't laugh often. Good the irony towards cinema.
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