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Thursday, 8 September 2016

Re-watching Blazing Saddles

Last week we lost one of the greatest comedic actors of all time, Gene Wilder. To remember what a comedy genius he was I decided to watch one of my favourite films of his, Blazing Saddles.
The story of Bart (played by Cleavon Little), a poor black man working on the railroad who, after an altercation with the railroad boss called Taggart (who is played by the brilliantly named Slim Pickens), is sentenced to be hanged. However he is given a stay of execution when a corrupt Attourney General, Hedley Lamarr (that's HEDLEY) manipulates a gullible Governor (Mel Brooks) into appointing Bart to be the first black sheriff of a town called Rock Ridge. Hedley's plan is that the black sheriff will make the people of Rock Ridge leave town so that his rail road can go through where the town once stood.
Bart
After a Bart arrives in Rock Ridge he is not welcomed with open arms by the townsfolk and he hilariously gets away from the mob and makes his way to the jail. At the jail Bart meets Gene Wilders character Jim (we have to wait over half an hour before Wilder appears). Jim, once known as The Waco Kid is a drunk former gunslinger who quickly becomes Bart's only friend in town.
Jim, The Waco Kid
After Hedley Lamarr finds out that the people of Rock Ridge have not yet killed the new sheriff he decides to get Taggart and his band of men to ransack the town. One of the most memorable scenes in the the film is when Taggart's men are sitting around the fire eating beans. Taggart decides to send his intimidating but dimwitted crony, Mongo, into town. All of the townsfolk are scared of Mongo and beg Bart to help get rid of him. Bart comes up with a plan to defeat Mongo that comes straight out of Looney Tunes by using exploding candy. After using Mongo failed Taggart and Lamarr come of with a new plan to get as many bad guys, outlaws and desperados together to run everyone out of town.
Taggart and Hedley Lamarr
"Never mind that shit, Here comes Mongo!"
Bart and Jim come up with a plan to construct a fake town and when the bad guys run into town the blow it up with dynamite. After the explosion a mass brawl breaks out and what happens next is the silliest, stupidest, nonsensical, comedic 20 minutes in cinema history.  The brawl breaks out of the movie lot the film is being made at and into the next studio. It is utterly ridiculous (and hilarious), the cameo by Dom DeLuise is brilliant (as all cameos by Dom DeLuise are). The fighting then breaks into the Hollywood caffeteria where actors from different films are having their lunch. Mel Brooks not content with breaking the forth wall, then breaks the fifth wall (if that's possible) as Bart defeats Hedley Lamarr outside the theatre Blazing Saddles is being shown at and then Bart and Jim go in to watch the end of the film.

 Blazing Saddles is one of the greatest comedy, neh, greatest films of all time. Gene Wilder is brilliant and as with all of his performances there is slight sinister edge to his comedy.

Well, that's all for now.

S

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1 comment

  1. I love Blazing Saddles! I can't believe how many celebrity deaths there's been in 2016

    Cat x

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