Blerd Film Club: Blazing Saddles


1974 Blazing Saddles arrived co-written by none other than legendary comedian Richard Pryor. Richard had written the role for himself and fully intended on starring in it. However, the studio felt that due to Pryor's drug addiction they'd never let him star in the film worried about the issues that would cause. Instead they turned to veteran actor Cleavon Little to star as Sheriff Bart. Thus, Blazing Saddles entered into production.

The film begins with a group working on laying tracks for a railroad. The group is made up minority men from various racists. They're overseen by a group of white men who want to hear some Negro Spirituals. Only to end up dancing and singing folk songs. That was the first sign we'd be in for a hilarious film. The tracks they're laying are to go through the white only town of Rock Ridge, in which all the white people have the last name Johnson.  However the land is too expensive and Hedley Lamarr needs them to abandon that land. He does what any wild west villain would do, he hires a gang of thugs to run through the town and drive them out.

Meanwhile, Bart gets fed up with the railroad work after being left in a pit of quicksand and whacks the railroad overseer with a shovel and is sent off to be executed. The town of Rock Ridge demands a sheriff to deal with the thugs. So Lamarr pulls Bart off the execution block to be the sheriff hoping the town of Rock Ridge would destroy themselves. They don't, they just try not to acknowledge him which means he sits in the station for a wile. There he meets Jim better known as The Waco kid who has the fastest hands in the wild wild west. The hands are so fast it's comical. Together they take out Mongul, a giant henchman who was sent to wreck the town and may have a little crush on Bart.

Lemarr hires a bigger group of thugs. This time in a hilarious scene where they list their crimes and are either hired or fired. The new crew includes murderers, rapists, Nazis, KKK members, arsonists and just about anything else you can think of. Bart gets word of this and drags all the townspeople out to meet the railroad workers made up of black, Chinese and Irish men, people who wouldn't be allowed in the town. Together they work to build a replica of the real town so when the thugs come to destroy it in the morning, they destroy the fake town.

What happens in the morning is the most ridiculous ending I've ever seen in a film. They have a shoot out that starts in the fake town, crosses into another movie set, the studio cafeteria, outside, down the freeway, all the way to the opening night of the film while Bart is riding on a horse waves to Jim who is in a tuxedo with his wife and that's not even the half of it. It's ridiculous and fall off your chair funny. When things get back to normal the townsfolk thank Bart and he rides off into the sunset with Jim, in the back of a limo.

Blazing Saddles is a film dripping with sarcasm the whole way through poking fun at Western Movie tropes the whole way through. It's a film that's completely aware of it's place in the world. From the executioner dressing in chain mail to the fact that the town only has white people with the last name Johnson are just hilarious. I had never seen a movie end the way this one did and the constant upping of the ante was almost murder. Actors arguing about who has the rights to the set with other actors. Jim just wandering off to get lunch and see the movie premiere. It's ridiculous and I loved every second of it.

The film is timelessly funny. The one thing I would warn about is, that it's from 1974 so there's going to be some really harsh language that most people aren't going to be okay with. It's dated in that sense but hardly noticeable. It's just a fun movie even if you don't like Westerns. There's plenty of random moments to break the story up that you'll love.

You should buy Darrell's Book, watch him on the Blerds Online YouTube Channel or The CP Time and Powerbomb Jutsu podcasts. 
Blerd Film Club: Blazing Saddles Blerd Film Club: Blazing Saddles Reviewed by Blerds Online on Thursday, July 26, 2018 Rating: 5

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