Blind Spot 2012 Review: Blazing Saddles
What We ThoughtGenre: Comedy
What We Liked :Acting solid across the board The ending sequence is fantastic
What We Disliked:Standard Mel Brooks formula
While I can’t say I loved Blazing Saddles as much as I would’ve hoped, there’s no denying it’s charm and place in the discussion of classic comedy features.
Mel Brooks is famous for delivering memorable comedies that often break the fourth wall. Blazing Saddles is no exception to this rule as it absolutely shatters that wall to deliver one of the most comedic finales ever. While the rest of picture doesn’t live up to the classic status the film has received over the years, Blazing Saddles is capable of delivering laugh after laugh.
Blazing Saddles most notably satires the racism present in Hollywood created Western civilizations by having a black sheriff in an all white town. Cleavon Little stars in the film as Bart, a slave turned sheriff for the town of Rock Ridge. Behind the scenes there’s a mischievous enemy lurking in the background. Hedley “It’s not Edley” Lamarr can only taste the amount of money he can make if his railroad project goes right through Rock Ridge. He hopes with the introduction of Bart into the town, they will show their racist backgrounds and leave town.
For all that he’s been through, Bart comes across as a charmer. Always trying to please people and make the best impression, he’s disappointed when the town folk don’t take to him right away. He finds a friend in the drunken gunslinger, Jim “The Waco Kid” (Gene Wilder). Together with the inadvertent help of Hedley, they start to win over the town.
There’s many attempts to take Bart down. Whether it is the behemoth, Mongo or the beauty, Lili Von Shtupp all they do is increase the growing popularity of the new sheriff. Hedley must do something drastic if he ever hopes to get his railroad through town.
There’s no doubt that Blazing Saddles has Mel Brooks stamp on it through and through. He plays a similar part in Blazing Saddles that he did in Spaceballs and that’s not where the similarities end. It takes a certain kind of audience to appreciate his type of humor and for me it’s mostly hit or miss. While this will always be remembered for one of his stronger efforts, there’s just something missing to make it truly special. Maybe like most classic comedies, I’m looking at this from the wrong vantage point. There’s been similar movies to this that I’ve disliked the first time, but have grown to love (Monty Python and the Holy Grail, the most pertinent).
Blazing Saddles leads up to an epic conclusion. Its amazing the kind of effect they make without too many special effects. Mel Brooks typically breaks the fourth wall in his films and with this finale he set the path for all over movies to emulate. While I can’t say I loved Blazing Saddles as much as I would’ve hoped, there’s no denying its charm and place in the discussion of classic comedy features.