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Customer reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
Mel Brooks: Make A Noise (American Masters)
Format: DVD|Change
Price:$8.50+ Free shipping with Amazon Prime

Enthusiast: Mangaon November 5, 2016
Bottom Line First
Were you to watch American Master’s Mel Brooks Make a Noise; having no idea who Mel Brooks is or why you should care, you would come away entertained and motivated to seek out his movies. If you had closely followed his career, read some of what has been published and seen previous interviews and documentaries; Make a Noise is still entertaining and has some new info. It is neither definitive nor exhaustive. I would hope it is not the final. Mel Brooks retains his high energy and his professional friends their respect. My Recommendation: this is a must for Mel Brooks fans and fans of biography lite. Maybe not so much for film students or seekers for the ‘real’ biography.

I enjoyed the Mel Brooks installment to the Public Television series American Masters. The combination of previous interviews and outtakes from the movies is a fairly standard technique, but the innovative technique was to interview Mel and may of his associates on an empty studio lot against a basic white screen. Camera gear and audio equipment are frequently visible. Creativity need not be any more complex and the simplicity of staging created an immediate contrast with those of the Brooks Movies.

The adulatory interviews from this fellow writers and actors are like so many of these interviews, a canned predictability. It is rare for the people of the film and entertainment business to have less than glowing comments to say about successful members of their profession. If you listen closely you can pick up shade of what may be resentment over his tendency to dominate, if only by nervous energy almost any room he enters. Also clear from Mel and his associates is his tendency to push a joke too far.

There is an important other aspect to the otherwise usual comments from movie associates. His late wife, Anne Bancroft is quoted posthumously. They had shared a long and loving relationship. One of the things she makes known about Mel Brooks was that he was well read and a deeply thinking man. It is also reported that Mel had created an independent production company for her and though that company both Ms Bancroft and many another independent film maker found artistic outlets in major movie release.

Make a Noise is typical of the American Masters Series. It is adulatory and not very analytical. It lacks in critical analysis. It is not part of the AM creed to add to the knowledge base by delving too deeply behind the official versions or to question the accepted outline of the selected Masters. It may be unfair to expect more from the producers of what is always a classy presentation. In the case of Mel Brooks, I hope he is worth at least one more effort to capture this very funny and creative American.
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on June 27, 2017
Mel Brooks is one very funny man.
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on November 16, 2014
Mel Brooks is renowned as a comic genius, but he’s much more. The man is a survivor, a brave street fighter par excellence who’s battled conformity, censorship and staid thinking. He’s made jokes no one else would dare to, broken many boundaries and opened the doors for countless artists that followed his lead. This documentary reveals an inquisitive, introspective legend that remains very much in touch with contemporary audiences. If you’re already a fan, you’ll become an even bigger fan after you savor this appreciation of a true great American icon.
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on March 8, 2017
A true American treasure.
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on August 15, 2013
Fascinating biographical piece about Mel Brooks: his life, his start in show business and how he made his films. He had his hits (The Producers, Young Frankenstein, Blazing Saddles) and his misses (Life Stinks, Silent Movie), sometimes the humor was inspired, sometimes it was forced -- but the film is less about the films themselves than about the man who made them and the thought process. If you enjoy the behind-the-scenes view of film making, this is a good choice.
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on May 22, 2016
Love Mel Brooks, and this is a wonderful biography. He is funny, surprisingly candid, and offered enlightening stories. Many points of view were shared from various show biz folks.
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on August 15, 2015
I generally love all of the American Masters documentaries, and this one was no different. Very enjoyable, well researched, and of course Mel Brooks is as funny as ever. It was an interesting look into his life and how he got to be who he is.
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on April 24, 2016
Hilarious overview of Mel Brooks' life in the entertainment. Great clips from his movies. Very watchable.
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on May 21, 2013
How I wish this amazing, insightful documentary about the life and career of Mel Brooks was available this semester when I taught "Jew on Screen!" The ancedotes are sprinkled with some painful and carefully edited comments by Brooks himself, a good deal of vintage comedy from most Brooks films and his television stint as a writer for Sid Caesar on "Your Show of Shows." The comments of those with whom he directed and worked and played are truely touching. I will definitely purchase a copy for screening the next time I teach this course. Bravo -- as always -- to "American Masters" on PBS.
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on May 26, 2015
I love his films and the Broadway version of The Producers. This doc provides context for that and describes the life of a truly amazing person.
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