Mel Brooks’ 1974 film, Blazing Saddles, is a satirical comedy that targets everything from race to religion to the Hollywood studio system. The film is one that has a number of lines that have found their way into pop culture vocabulary. This is a film that is difficult to summarize because it is meant to be highly absurd so I think I’ll just jump right into my thoughts.
Should this film be considered a classic? For this film, it would probably depend on the day that you asked me and the mood I was in when I last watched it. This is a movie that uses satire to point out some of the more absurd elements of racism, religion, and Hollywood. It is definitely an equal opportunity offender and there is probably not a single person who could watch this movie without having some scene or line make them squirm a bit. That said, the film is also very funny (at least when I’m in the right mood) and is acted and directed to perfection (as long as you don’t mind patent absurdity). Does it deserve to be on the same list as the best of all time? It probably does. It is works both as satire and comedy and also allows us to have a hearty laugh at some issues that occasionally need to have a bit of sharp wit applied to them.
Would I own this film? Probably. Like I said, I find the film hilarious if I’m in the right mood to watch it. It’s definitely not a film for everyone and it is certainly the comedy/satire genre that allows this film to get away with so much. Still, this is Mel Brooks at his sharpest and most absurd and that has to count for something.
The hilarious scene below is just a taste of the absurd awesomeness in this movie: