Talking Back to the Movies: Mel Brooks
Talking Back to the Movies is roaring right along with a series on the films of comedy icon Mel Brooks. What started out as a planned run-through of the entire series was cut short after Young Frankenstein, when my podcast partner Gabe Levy and myself mutually decided that the prospect of watching anything Mel Brooks after 1974 just sounded like torture we simply didn’t want to subject ourselves to. But we did four solid episodes about Brooks’ first four theatrical efforts that I’ll embed for you wonderful readers.
1.) The Producers
The film that made it okay to laugh at Hitler. There’s a great Gene Wilder performance and a wonderful character left behind by the musical version. Enjoy Mel Brooks before he was “Mel Brooks!”
2.) The Twelve Chairs
Mel Brooks’ best film is also his most forgotten. A deep film of true substance, The Twelve Chairs pits two very different men against each other in a quest of greed and pettiness. There’s also a plot where Dom DeLuise falls down a lot.
3.) Blazing Saddles
The film that brought Mel Brooks into the public eye. Race is taken to task in the white hot desert as a black man is proclaimed sheriff of the Old West town of Rock Ridge. Gene Wilder is back, and much of Brooks’ recurring ensemble got their start here. Hilarious in every way.
4.) Young Frankenstein
With a particular affection for 1930s monster movies, Mel Brooks made his most enduring and watchable movie. Maybe the best of its kind, Young Frankenstein is a classic.
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