Silent Movie Reviews
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.
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.