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[Comments] (2) : Sumana and I watched Blazing Saddles the other day; I hadn't seen it since 2000. It was still really funny but also kind of disappointing. I'm going to just throw this out and not defend it, but I think Mel Brooks's two big flaws as a filmmaker are 1) the "puerile" tail of his Bell-curve sense of humor, and 2) he's downright sentimental about movies and Hollywood in general as well as the particular tropes he's exploiting. I found the second really annoying in Blazing Saddles (the first you can just fast-forward past) and I think this is why I never thought Gene Wilder was funny; the first place I saw him was this cheesy subplot where he's the feel-good straight-man sidekick.

On the other hand if Mel Brooks didn't have that underlying sentimentality, he might have ended up like those sub-Zucker and Zucker guys who put out an anthology parody movie every year and then run for cover.


Posted by Kris Straub at Thu Mar 27 2008 00:14

Gene Wilder? You're not even on board with his Willy Wonka? (I guess that wasn't funny-funny, but scary.)

Posted by Leonard at Thu Mar 27 2008 07:37

He was fine as Willy Wonka. He played it with a sort of subtle comic menace which, I thought at the time, nicely undercut all the years he'd spent in the 70s as the feel-good straight-man sidekick. But now that we have IMDB I see that that movie was made in 1971.

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