Views & Reviews From Writer Steve Miller
Formerly Reviews and Stuff at Rotten Tomatoes, 2005 - 2009.

Currently Showing at Cinema Steve

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Cinematic Black History Milestone:
First Black Sheriff

Blazing Saddles (1974)
Starring: Cleavon Little, Gene Wilder, Slim Pickens, Hedley Lamar, Madeline Khan, and Mel Brooks
Director: Mel Brooks
Rating: Ten of Ten Stars

A villainous political boss (Lamar) bent on ruining a small frontier town for his personal gain appoints a black sheriff (Little). Comedy and satire without bounds ensue.

"Blazing Saddles" is one of Mel Brook's greatest films. Using the framework of a traditional horse opera, the film spoofs westerns, modern societal conventions, liberals, conservatives, blacks, whites, racists, bigots, and just about about anyone else you can think of. It's so crammed with satirical bite that the western genre can't even hold it, and the final minutes of the film is one of the best fourth-wall sequences to ever be put on film.

There isn't a single misfire in this film. The casting is perfect all-around, and all actors give hilarious performances. The script is perfectly paced. The jokes all work--even if many of the skew toward the 4th-grade boy level of humor... but who can possible not laugh during the campfire scene?

The only people who don't laugh themselves sick while watching "Blazing Saddles" are those who are pathelogically obsessed with political correctness, prudes, and dead people. The rest of us will have a great time with this classic comedy.

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