Blazing Saddles  » Movies  »
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  • But I don't think it is a matter of contention with this film
  • If you take a step back, I think you'll find Mel Brooks' intentions to be clear
  • I don't think her role was utilized as fully or efficiently as it could have been
  • I like Blazing Saddles for this very reason

    • by dennismoore2

      all reviews
      Let’s face it. So much of Blazing Saddles is so politically incorrect that you’d need several fingers and toes to count the instances. But I don’t think it is a matter of contention with this film. If you take a step back, I think you’ll find Mel Brooks’ intentions to be clear. He intended to make fun of all the absurd behavior surrounding racism, and chose the Old West as the setting for doing this.

      It’s as if Mel Brooks is saying, �take a look at how foolish the racist mindset is.� The story is about a group of greedy politicians who are building a railroad, and the town of Rock Ridge stands in the way. So the assistant to the governor, Hedley Lamarr (that’s Hedley, not Heddy!)

      sends a new sheriff to Rock Ridge, hoping he’d scare them off. He is hoping this because the new sheriff is African American (although stronger terms are used in the movie), and the citizens of Rock Ridge are as white bread as they come. This is evidenced by the fact that every surname in Rock Ridge is Johnson. I wonder if a little inbreeding has occurred in the old town of Rock Ridge?

      Mel Brooks himself appears as Governor Lepetomane, a cross-eyed, lust moron just as racist as the rest of the region. Harvey Korman is great in the role of Hedley Lamarr. Slim Pickens is Taggart, a foreman under the employ of Hedley who does all of his dirty work. But the biggest treat of all is ...

      • the lovely Madeline Kahn as Lili Von Shtupp, a Marlene Dietrich send up that is dirty and hilarious. I don’t think her role was utilized as fully or efficiently as it could have been.

        But, the heart and soul of Blazing Saddles is the friendship that forms between Sheriff Bart (Cleavon Little) and the Waco Kid, now know as Jim (Gene Wilder). I feel their characters send a message to anyone watching the movie, that color of skin is meaningless when there are far better issues at stake. The first was after Sheriff Bart comes to town. He’d been in town only a day, and the delightful citizens of Rock Ridge make it quickly known how they feel about African Americans. But when he stands up to Mongo,

        a beefy dufus of a desperado, the town begins to tolerate him, at least in secret, in dark alleys behind the sheriff’s office.

        The second was toward the end, when everyone � citizens of Rock Ridge, and mix of ethnic railroad workers alike, come together to build a fake Rock Ridge to dupe Taggart and Lamarr, all in one night. They do it because they set aside their differences of opinion and act like human beings.

        We should laugh at absurd opinions based upon color and creed. I like Blazing Saddles for this very reason. The rest of the zaniness is just icing on the cake, in Mel Brooks’ unique style. This film is worth watching many times, and gives new meaning to the phrase �sitting around the campfire.�

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