100 Movies You Need to See Before You Die

Blazing Saddles (1974)

Country: USA
Director: Mel Brooks
Screenwriters: Andrew Bergman, Mel Brooks, Richard Pryor, Norman Steinberg, Al Uger
Stars: Cleavon Little, Gene Wilder, Harvey Korman, Slim Pickens, Madeline Kahn, Mel Brooks, Dom DeLuise

You can't talk about comedy on celluloid without mentioning Mel Brooks, the visionary behind Young Frankenstein, Spaceballs, and The Producers. His best film remains the righteously politically incorrect Blazing Saddles, a spoof of the western that confronts race head-on.

Check the credits on the screenplay—that's Richard Pryor's name, just one indication that the material here isn't going to be handled with kid gloves. The plot, at its most distilled, involves the new sheriff of Rock Ridge. His name is Bart (Cleavon Little) and he's black. As you can probably guess, this isn't a smooth transition for the racist townsfolk. —RS

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