Mel Brooks Movies: It's Good to be the King
Clearly the mind of Mel Brooks exists in a land where political correctness is not seen in most Mel Brooks movies. Mel Brooks has been a successful director, screenwriter, composer, actor and producer for over 60 years. The best example of his open-minded humor is in “Blazing Saddles.” Two hysterically funny Mel Brooks movies are spoofs of classic literature “Young Frankenstein” and "Robin Hood: Men in Tights.”
The best example of Mel Brooks's renowned sense of humor is in “Blazing Saddles.” Cleavon Little gives the performance of his career as the slick Sheriff Bart who arrives in the frontier town of Rock Ridge entirely clad in Gucci from saddle to hat. Bart is sent to Rock Ridge to bring on white flight by the corrupt State Attorney Hedley Lamarr (Harvey Korman). Rock Ridge is filled with some of the best known Mel Brooks characters like drunk and depressed has been Waco Kid Jim (Gene Wilder), Lili von Shtupp (Madeline Kahn), Mel Brooks as cross-eyed Gov. William J. Le Petomane and an Indian Chief. There are several other cameos for Mel. No subject is sacred or safe from the twisted humor of Mel Brooks, including the eating of beans for dinner around the campfire.
The mad scientist creates a monster Mel Brooks style. Gene Wilder stars as Dr. Frederick Frankenstein who continues with his grandfather’s experiment to reanimate life. Marty Feldman is Igor, his hunchback assistant whose hunch keeps moving from side to side on his back. Teri Garr plays Inga, the doctor’s perky blonde assistant. Cloris Leachman steals the movie as Frau Blucher whose name, when mentioned, makes horses whinny throughout the entire movie. Mel Brooks plays several parts as Helga’s father, the werewolf, a cat hit by dart and the voice of Victor Frankenstein. Peter Boyle plays the singing and dancing monster who encounters a cast of characters on his journey including the blind man (Gene Hackman). One of Mel Brooks’s best movies. A bit of trivia, the scientific equipment that crackles and spits lightening are the same props used in the original 1931 "Frankenstein."
Dr. Richard H. Thorndyke (Mel Brooks) is the new administrator of the Psycho-Neurotic Institute for the Very, Very Nervous. He is greeted by Nurse Diesel (Cloris Leachman) complete a frown and heavy facial hair. Leachman steals another Mel Brooks’s movie with her performance as a psychopath, dominatrix and nurse in a relationship with Dr. Montague (Harvey Korman), her submissive, complete with leather, chains, whips and a hysterically funny scene in a closet. Before long Dr. Thorndyke discovers a sinister plot in place at the institute. Hindered by his “High Anxiety,” massive fear of heights, he begins to investigate while surrounded by outrageous characters including a patient who believe he is a dog who likes to hump legs. The lounge act duet Mel Brooks does with Madeline Kahn is hilarious.
Mel Brooks stars as Goddard Bolt the CEO of Bolt Enterprises in this off beat comedy. Bolt makes a bet with rival industrialist Vance Crasswell (Jeffrey Tambor) to win a property in the slums if he can survive for 30 days living on the streets. Armed with only an electronic anklet that will sound an alarm if he leaves the boundaries of the area for 30 seconds, Bolt becomes homeless. He is taught to live in a cardboard box on the street to eat at the missions where he meets Molly (Lesley Ann Warren) a homeless woman who helps him survive especially after Crasswell sabotages him. Not the usual parody often created by Mel Brooks, but instead a story of personal growth in a strange world filled with unique characters.
“Robin Hood: Men in Tights”
Mel Brooks humor at its best which includes a band of wacky merry men in tights singing about how “butch” they are. Robin Hood (Cary Elwes) collects his band of merry men including jaywalker Asneeze (Isaac Hayes), Little John (Eric Allan Kramer), Will Scarlet O’Hara (Matthew Porretta) and more. Great cameo appearances, fun slapstick and lots of great corny humor.