Movie Review – Blazing Saddles

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I’m not going to say I’ve watched everything Mel Brooks has ever done, but I’ve watched a fair chunk of it, and I’ve enjoyed what I’d seen. However, I’d never gotten around to watching Blazing Saddles. The film is widely regarded as being Brooks best film, aside from, maybe, Young Frankenstein. So, I’ve watched it, now what did I think about it?

The Premise:

Bart, an African-American man working on the railroad, is saved from execution for assaulting one of the racist over-seers for the railroad, to be appointed by the Eeeeevvvvvviiiiillll Lieutenant Governor Hedley Lamar as the sheriff of the town of Rock Ridge – which Lamar is trying to force out so he can claim the land for himself as the rail-road comes through it, so he can make a fortune. However, Lamar has underestimated Bart, and his new deputy, Jim, aka The Gunslinger Formerly Known As The Waco Kid.

The Good:

This film is funny. Very funny. Extremely funny. I can’t think of any joke here that fell flat. The film is excellently shot, in the style of the more epic westerns like How The West Was Won and so on.

The Bad:

The executioner. I understand what they were kind of trying to do, but the reaction it got from me was confusion at how out of place he was.

The Ugly:

While the ending is nuts in a lot of good ways, ultimately it doesn’t conclude very well. I can’t put my finger on it precisely, but it feels slightly off. Not the limo bit. Not the studio backlot bit. Specifically the re-integration with the old west bit. It didn’t work quite right.

Gaming Usage:

Unless you’re playing Toon, none.

The Verdict:

Yes, I found something to complain about, I really had to hunt for it. I would put this film in my category of one of those things everyone needs to see at least once, and I specifically mean the theatrical version. You don’t have to like it, you don’t have to watch it multiple times, but you need to watch it at least once.