Friday, November 1, 2013

Silent Movie (1976)

Director: Mel Brooks

Writers: Mel Brooks, Ron Clark, Rudy De Luca, Barry Levinson

Composer: John Morris

Starring: Mel Brooks, Marty Feldman, Dom DeLuise, Sid Caesar, Harold Gould, Ron Carey, Bernadette Peters, Carol Arthur, Harry Ritz, Charlie Callas, Henny Youngman, Barry Levinson, Howard Hessman, Burt Reynolds, James Caan, Liza Minnelli, Anne Bancroft, Marcel Marceau, Paul Newman

More info: IMDb

Plot: Aspiring filmmakers Mel Funn, Marty Eggs and Dom Bell go to a financially troubled studio with an idea for a silent movie. In an effort to make the movie more marketable, they attempt to recruit a number of big name stars to appear, while the studio's creditors attempt to thwart them. The film contains only one word of dialogue, spoken by an unlikely source.

My rating: 8/10

Will I watch it again?  "          " (see what I did there?  Ahahahahahaha)

Brilliant.  It's been a good 25 years since I saw this and it's even better than I remember.  The gags are often hilarious.  Brooks will do just about anything for a laugh so you're going to get some bits that are stupid and silly but the sheer amount of them often brings the laughs because they don't stop.  It's a clever story and seeing Mel, Marty and Dom courting big name celebrities is hilarious.  James Caan, Burt Reynolds and Paul Newman (his chase was particularly funny)?  Are you kidding me?  These guys were hilarious.  Most of all, I think, I really appreciate the light and tender tone the movie has, especially with the celebrities ultimately being gracious and more than happy to be in Mel's film.  And then you've got the obvious silent comedy style of the teens and twenties that Brooks is emulating.  As a fan of those films I'm probably more predisposed to like this picture than someone who isn't but I'm just speculating.  I've been slowly revisiting Mel Brooks' catalogue and I'm about to get to the point where they start going downhill fast.

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