Mel Brooks is a comic genius and that is an undisputable fact. This fact is made even stronger by Blazing Saddles, the 6th all-time greatest comedy according to the AFI. Granted it just wasn't Mel Brooks, but his ability to get past the hand of the censors was the key to this films success then and it still is today. This 30th Anniversary DVD preserves this absolute classic in brilliant form and tosses in some unique extras as well.
The small town of Rock Ridge is in trouble. Seems that quicksand has prevented a railroad to be built as planned and the only way the project can continue is straight through the quite western town. The citizens will obviously not be happy with their town being demolished so the "assistant to the governor" Heddy...err...Hedley Lamaar (Harvey Korman), gets an idea to send in a new sheriff that will drive the citizens away. Sheriff Bart (Cleavon Little) earns the trust of the not-so accepting town and develops a plan to turn the tide on the rather unintelligent town-destroyers.
Blazing Saddles is a film that doesn't limit itself to the Wild West. No, Saddles takes off into the Warner Brothers lot across various sets, a food court, and finally to a theater which is premiering the film. Simply put, the movie is too much of a classic to contain itself to its source material. It's a wacky, crazy, incoherent, and downright stupid film for nearly the entire running time. This is exactly why the movie is still a classic to this day.
The entire cast is perfect, including Mel Brooks in various roles himself. Cleavon Little is flawless as the only real intelligent person in town and Gene Wilder is unforgettable as the Waco Kid. Even Alex Karris, a NFL player, is priceless as the hulking Mongol. Of course, not giving credit to Madeline Kahn as Lillie Von Setup in an Academy Award nominated performance would be a crime.
People have blasted the film as racist and disgusting, but calling the film either of these misnomers is completely missing the point. Yes, certain words are spoken that make it seem racially motivated, but if you actually take the time to think about it, the film is actually a parody of racism and its idiocy. Should you not view the film for this reason, you are truly missing one of the greatest American comedies of all time and Mel Brooks' finest achievement. Now excuse me while I get some schnitzengruben . (***** out *****)