BLAZING SADDLES
1974, Warner Bros., 93 min, USA, Dir: Mel Brooks

Mel Brooks’ third film as director took his politically incorrect humor (with a screenplay co-written by Richard Pryor) to new heights of hilarity. A corrupt politician appoints a black sheriff to cause havoc in a Western town, but is surprised when the new lawman (Cleavon Little) becomes a force to be reckoned with. With Gene Wilder, Madeline Kahn and Harvey Korman.


SPACEBALLS
1987, MGM/Park Circus, 96 min, USA, Dir: Mel Brooks

“May the schwartz be with you.” Bill Pullman, John Candy and Rick Moranis head up the cast in Mel Brooks' hilarious riff on STAR WARS, which is as much a satire on that movie's impact on the film industry (with particularly sly jabs at corporate merchandising) as it is on STAR WARS itself. Brooks is a riot in two roles (including the Yoda-inspired "Yoghurt"), with diminutive Rick Moranis marching around as “Dark Helmet,” Dom DeLuise voicing the pepperoni-and-cheese blob Pizza the Hut, and Daphne Zuniga rounds out the cast in the Princess Leia part (here, Princess Vespa).


THE PRODUCERS
1968, Rialto Pictures, 88 min, USA, Dir: Mel Brooks

Mel Brooks’ directorial debut is one of his finest, and it won him the Oscar for Best Original Screenplay. This outrageous look at two Broadway producers - conniving con man Zero Mostel and sheepish, going-along-for-the-ride Gene Wilder (nominated for Best Supporting Actor) - deciding to get rich by selling shares in what they believe will be a guaranteed flop is certainly one of the funniest comedies of the 1960s. The pair’s production “Springtime for Hitler” (“Don’t be stupid, be a smarty! Come and join the Nazi party!”) inadvertently becomes a so-bad-it’s-good hit, and their grandiose designs on big-time wealth comically crumble. Watch for Dick Shawn as acid-casualty actor LSD, who becomes a surprise star as the jive-talking Führer, and Kenneth Mars as the humorless, ex-German soldier playwright.


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