Day Twenty-One: Blazing Saddles (March of the Movies 2022)

Spaceballs was introduced to me at a young age. Maybe that was a bad thing, but that’s a discussion for another day. It was the film to introduce me to satire-comedy films and to Mel Brooks. Since then, I haven’t seen too many satire-comedies, but when I do, they’re usually Brooks’s work. The Producers, Young Frankenstein; yet I never took the time to watch the one that many consider his best work: Blazing Saddles.

I won’t be too detailed with this one, because my thoughts are just about the same as… all of them.

Copy-Pasted Synopsis

In order to ruin a western town, a corrupt politician appoints a black Sheriff, who promptly becomes his most formidable adversary.” – IMDb

Actual Lazy Review

No matter what film it is, Mel Brooks is the king of passable comedy. That’s pretty much how I feel about all of the films from him I’ve seen, except perhaps Spaceballs given the nostalgia value. Generally humorous, but never laugh-out-loud funny.

When it comes to Blazing Saddles, it does have a sort of ambition to it that embodies an aura above a simple satire-comedy. More… dynamic? Whatever it is, there’s a realism to this that makes it feel as though it’s a true film. Well, I mean… you get it. Hopefully.

That said, I’m inclined to theorize that this is an acquired taste. A lot of the humor here is racism. The lead is black, and everyone treats him like radioactive waste, with brutal hostility. The N-word is uttered a lot, as are a few other slurs. Though to its credit, the film treats these racists as the bad ones; it’s almost never taking aim at actual black culture as it is insulting the stupidity of racists. Not as nice with gay people, but baby steps, I guess.

Paddle me balls!

It’s enjoyable for what it is. Perhaps I’m just not as fond of the genre as I believe I am, or perhaps Mel Brooks is just all right as a filmmaker. Some funny jokes here and there—I liked that every white person’s last name in Rock Ridge was “Johnson” and the governor’s incredible stupidity—that’s relatively dry as an overall. I don’t know. Fun ending scenes, though.

Conclusion

If you enjoy Mel Brooks satire-comedies, you’ll like this. If not, then this will do absolutely nothing to convince you otherwise. Though there’s a rooted comfort in his works for me due to nostalgic reasons, I can’t make myself give it more praise than just, “It was all right.” Probably not for me.

Final Score: 6/10

The rating for all other films can be found at Letterboxd.

For more, check out the March of the Movies Archive!

Thank you for your time. Have a great timezone.

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