Mel Brooks (Directed) Film By Film Thread

Discussion in 'Visual Arts' started by RayS, May 19, 2020.

  1. RayS

    RayS A Little Bit Older and a Little Bit Slower Thread Starter

    Location:
    Out of My Element
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    Her final scene leaves little doubt to Cloris Leachman's primary inspiration in the film (IMO) - Margaret Hamilton.

     
  2. Quadboy

    Quadboy Forum Resident

    Location:
    Leeds,England
    Pretty good effort ......... But it goes down a touch whenever Harvey isn't around.
    Madeline just great again.
     
  3. Scooterpiety

    Scooterpiety Current operator of the Freedonia peanut stand

    Location:
    Oregon
    Ah! I didn't get to comment on Silent Movie.
    I have probably seen it more than any other single movie I have ever watched in a theatre. I saw it over and over again after it was released in 1976, at the time I found it to be one of the funniest films I had ever seen.
    My regard for it has definitely cooled, it's still a very funny movie, but there's a lot in it that falls flat or is just plain dull (the romance between Mel & Vilma). I really need to see it again, the last time I watched it in its entirety was on cable around 1985.
     
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  4. Scooterpiety

    Scooterpiety Current operator of the Freedonia peanut stand

    Location:
    Oregon
    Won Ton Ton was touted as a big upcoming film when it was in production, but it bombed big time. It's a movie buffs' delight with something like 60 cameos from old Hollywood stars and character actors. I saw it when it came out and have never seen it again, I don't think it's been shown on TV very often.
     
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  5. Scooterpiety

    Scooterpiety Current operator of the Freedonia peanut stand

    Location:
    Oregon
    High Anxiety is my absolute favorite Mel Brooks film, probably because of all the movie genres he parodied up to that time, Hitchcock was the one I was most familiar with, so I got most of the jokes and references.
    My best friend and I saw it when it opened around Christmas of 1977 and we still quote it all the time, 42 years later.
    ("I got it...I got it...I ain't got it!") ("Professor Little Old Man!") ("Those who are tardy do not get fruit cup.") (Here's your paper!!!") ("Take Brophy to the North Wing") ("Climb you son of a bitch!")
    We also sing the great "If You Love Me Baby, Play It Loud"!
     
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  6. RayS

    RayS A Little Bit Older and a Little Bit Slower Thread Starter

    Location:
    Out of My Element
    After a lengthy gap (Mel was busy with his new company, BrooksFilms, which produced "The Elephant Man" and "Fatso" during this time) comes:

    "History of the World, Part 1" (1981)

     
  7. RayS

    RayS A Little Bit Older and a Little Bit Slower Thread Starter

    Location:
    Out of My Element
    The 15 10 best things in the film.

     
  8. MikaelaArsenault

    MikaelaArsenault Forum Resident

    Location:
    New Hampshire
  9. RayS

    RayS A Little Bit Older and a Little Bit Slower Thread Starter

    Location:
    Out of My Element
    The second role in a Mel Brooks film that Richard Pryor didn't get to play!
     
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  10. " It ' s good to be da King !"
     
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  11. MikaelaArsenault

    MikaelaArsenault Forum Resident

    Location:
    New Hampshire
  12. RayS

    RayS A Little Bit Older and a Little Bit Slower Thread Starter

    Location:
    Out of My Element
    "History" definitely takes the cake for Mel's most low brow and vulgar film, as this scene attests.

    The queen apparently comes from the Brooklyn section of Rome. :)
     
  13. I like the scent in Roman times when Mel Brooks goes to the unemployment office to get benefit pay. Bea Arthur is the clerk.

    Clerk : " Occupation ?
    Mel : " I'm a stand-up philosopher "
    Clerk " Oh , a ******** artist "
     
  14. hbbfam

    hbbfam Forum Resident

    Location:
    Chandler,AZ
    Maybe time to watch this again
     
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  15. Scooterpiety

    Scooterpiety Current operator of the Freedonia peanut stand

    Location:
    Oregon
    History of the World Part 1 was the last gasp from Mel. He did make something of a comeback with Spaceballs in 1987, but something about that film keeps it from being counted with his earlier, greater films. It just has a different sort of feel to it.
    History has a lot of genuinely funny stuff in it, the Spanish Inquisition production number is as great as those in The Producers, in my opinion. But, the overload of bathroom humor grows tiresome for me, though ironically, it does contain one such joke I quote often:

    Count de Monet: Your Majesty, you look like the Piss Boy!
    King Louis XVI: And you look like a bucket of ****!
     
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  16. Instant Dharma

    Instant Dharma Fish or a mountain to scale

    Location:
    East Bay, Ca
    Lets face it, ya can’t Torquemada anything.

    Nothing, Jesus
    Yes?

    You go that way, you go that way, Im gonna walk round here in a circle.
     
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  17. RayS

    RayS A Little Bit Older and a Little Bit Slower Thread Starter

    Location:
    Out of My Element
    Mel commented somewhere about needing a tree to hang the jokes on ... but whenever "History" worries about the tree (the narrative sequence in the two long segments) it goes a bit awry. This is really one movie where the plot (and the underdeveloped and never believable love stories) just gets in the way. Of course there are lots and lots of jokes here that work splendidly. There's also more material here, ironically, that comes across as tastelessly dated, than in "The Producers" or "Blazing Saddles", which have much more of the reputation for controversy.

    The Spanish Inquisition scene is comic perfection, IMO.

    As with most of the better-known Brooks films, there is a related long-standing joke in my family. The one from "History", just a little throwaway line is, "You're NUTS! N-V-T-S, Nuts!"
     
  18. John Moschella

    John Moschella Forum Resident

    Location:
    Christiansburg, VA
    I remember being really disappointed when I saw this in the theater. The Mel Brooks strategy of 1000 jokes with 100 hits doesn't work in this film because only 10 hit. Too many miss the mark. A real let down. I was so disappointed that this was the last Brooks film I saw in a theater, so I missed the great Spaceballs.
     
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  19. adm62

    adm62 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Toronto, Canada
    High Anxiety. My favourite, the best parody ever.
     
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  20. MikaelaArsenault

    MikaelaArsenault Forum Resident

    Location:
    New Hampshire
  21. RayS

    RayS A Little Bit Older and a Little Bit Slower Thread Starter

    Location:
    Out of My Element
    A brief sidebar:

    In 1983 Mel starred in and produced (but did not direct) a remake of "To Be Or Not To Be". For whatever reason, Alan Johnson, who had done the choreography for "Springtime for Hitler" and "The Spanish Inquisition" for Mel, among other things, was chosen to direct.

    When I saw the film in the middle '80s, I was, as most of the public was apparently, disappointed. This was not the Mel Brooks we had come to know and love. Rewatching it this week, this is a much better film than I remember it being. It is well paced and funny, at least until things get a bit drawn out for my taste in the final third of the film. It's also refreshing to see a gay character in a Brooks film that simply isn't just the butt of jokes.

     
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  22. jojopuppyfish

    jojopuppyfish Forum Resident

    Location:
    Maryland
    I remember going to the theater with a choice between The History of the World Part I or Stripes....yes they were in the theaters at the same time.
     
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  23. Edgard Varese

    Edgard Varese Royale with Cheese

    Location:
    Te Wai Pounamu
    Carl Reiner was tweeting just the other week about how good that film is. I've never seen it.
     
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  24. JamieC

    JamieC Forum Resident

    Location:
    Detroit Mi USA
    A rare chance for Mel to first tackle a semi serious part as an actor, and second to work with his wife. Her forte is straight drama.
     
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  25. Scooterpiety

    Scooterpiety Current operator of the Freedonia peanut stand

    Location:
    Oregon
    I saw To Be or Not To Be when it opened in 1983, knowing it was not a typical Mel Brooks film and was more or less a straight remake of the 1942 Jack Benny/Carole Lombard film. I liked it, it was funny, very entertaining and Mel and Anne were both good in their roles. It had some typical Mel Brooks jokes ("Sondheim, send in the clowns!") but was a worthy remake of the Lubitsch original. I did forget that Mel didn't direct it, but it "felt" like he did!
     

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