Blazing Saddles [VHS]
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Never give a saga an even break! Blazing Saddles is an iconoclastic, not-politically-correct parody; one of the 1970s most successful and popular films. Every clichéd element from every Western ever made is turned upside down and inside out, while retaining all the familiar caricatures--eh, characters--of the genre: a dance-hall girl, a gunslinger, a sheriff, and a town full of pure folk. Mel Brooks redefined film comedy and proved that even sophomoric, scatological humor could be used to ridicule prejudice, injustice, and apathy.
Top Customer Reviews
Like "The Producers", this takes a great, simple idea – as a greedy political move to get people to leave town the Governor makes a black man the sheriff all white Rock Ridge. The citizens will have to learn to trust him if he is to save the town. On this idea, set piece after set piece is hung, some scatological, some just downright surreal.
There are great performances throughout. Cleavon Little brings humor, a hip swagger and huge charm to the hero, Gene Wilder, miles from his nebbishy character in The Producers is a great, cool gun-slinging sidekick, Madeline Kahn is hysterical as Teutonic bar singer Lily Von Shtup (a wicked parody of Marlene Dietrich), Mel Brooks is very funny as the absent minded addled governor, and Harvey Korman nearly steals the film with a wonderful performance as Hedley Lamar, the ultimate in (literally) mustache twirling villains.
There are fewer great conceptual moments here than in "The Producers", but probably more funny one-liners. In fact this may have as many good zingers and puns as any film I've ever seen. Not surprising when you consider the script was co-written by a young Richard Pryor. I will admit, by my recent 5th viewing some lot of the jokes had lost some punch (whereas "The Producers") still makes me laugh aloud, but this is a great comedy a great parody and a great satire.
BTW - the 40th anniversary version BR is only a mild step up in picture and sound from the previous blu-ray. I'm picky, so the upgrade it was worth it for me. But it's not an absolute necessity to double dip for those elements.
I would actually give this 4 1/2 stars if I could. There are some issues below that would keep it from a full 5 stars.
All of the bonus material has been ported over from the 30th Anniversary DVD, so there is nothing new here. Your decision to purchase this on Blu-ray will be based on the sharper, more detailed image. Their is a mild amount of grain, mostly seen in indoor scenes with plain colored backgrounds. But when the movie goes outdoors, the scenery is razer sharp. It is an improvement over the DVD.
The colors are good but I think only a mild improvement over the DVD. I was a little bothered by a slight inconsistancy in screen brightness. It seems that the sides of the picture are slightly darker than the center of the picture. This was most noticable in the opening titles. It was not my HD-TV as I just got done watching HISTORY OF THE WORLD PART 1 and that Blu-ray did not have the same problem.
The audio is passable but still sounds like an older movie. At times there was some mild distortion in the original recording. It is over 35 years old, so i will not complain.
And yes, the movie abounds with the "N" word. So if you have only seen this on TV you may be shocked.
The commentary by Mel Brooks should have been a separate feature. The voice-over doesn't match the movie and it ends well before the movie does.
The quality of the movie itself hasn't changed, thank goodness, and we still laughed ourselves silly all the way through. It's a pity the captions were "so dumb."
As the bad guy said when sending out all his underlings to do dasterdy deeds, "Go Do That Voodoo That You Do So WELLLLL"!
Don't listen to me. Go watch this movie and laugh your ass off !
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