Mini Movie Marathons

Mini Movie Marathon: Mel Brooks

Mel Brooks is a legendary comedic writer/director that made some classic comedies that people like to quote to this day. Mel Brooks is known to be the creator of comedic parodies and broad film farces. He has been on Broadway doing some shows and voice acting in various films. He received many awards and accolades like an Oscar for The Producers, Emmys, Tonys, Grammys, Drama Desks and other Honours from his peers. There are plenty of documentaries that he has been in talking about his life and career like Mel Brooks: Make a Noise, Hail Sid Caesar! The Golden Age of Comedy and Mel Brooks: Unwrapped.

The Producers (1967)

A greedy Broadway producer decides to do a get rich quick with a nervous accountant prone to hysteria to create the most unwatchable, offensive, idiotic flop to cash in from the one night opening by overselling shares of the production. The play was Springtime for Hitler: A Gay Romp with Adolf and Eva at Berchtesgaden, a romantic musical. It first received mixed reviews when it opened but now is considered a cult classic, won an Oscar and was inducted in the National Film Registry. This was Mel Brooks first films he directed.

Screen shot of The Producers. Max Bialystock is conning Leopold Bloom in his office. Max is partially hugging Leo with crazed look in his eyes. Leo looks sad and looking to the bottom left corner, not at Max. Both are facing the camera.
Screen shot of The Producers (1967)

Young Frankenstein (1974)

A take on the horror monster story Frankenstein and classic horror movies. Dr. Fredrick Frankenstein, a descendant of Dr. Victor Frankenstein is a lecturing physician at an American university, is informed that his great-grandfather left him the family estate. He travels to Transylvania to inspect the property and meets workers and assistants connected to the great-grandfather’s estate. After finding the secret laboratory filled with private journals, Frederick decides to pick up where his great-grandfather left off by re-animating a corpse. Young Frankenstein was filmed in black and white at a time when most films were in colour. The opening credits had a variation of iris outs, wipes and fade to black scene transitions like the 1930’s film style. It also had comically placed thunder and lightening throughout the film.

Trailer for Young Frankenstein (1974)

Blazing Saddles (1974)

Written by Andrew Bergman and directed by Mel Brooks, this film is a black comedy/western that satirizes the racism from Hollywood mystifying the life and time of the American frontier. The film is about an attorney and governor realizing that a railroad being built near the town could make them a lot of money but would have to split the payout with the townspeople which would have left them with next to nothing to keep. They appoint a black sheriff to the town in hopes that he would send it to ruins but becomes the most honest leader the town ever had. A lot of time has passed between the first time the film premiered and now; therefore, there are some jokes and situations that can be offensive to very sensitive people even though it is completely a satirical farce. It also a bit of a musical in the Western movie style.

Screen shot of Blazing Saddles. From the left: Jim a.k.a The Waco Kid and Sheriff Bart are laughing riding horses on a sunny day.
Screen shot of Blazing Saddles (1974)

Spaceballs (1988)

This is a parody film about Stars Wars and other space adventure films that came out around the release of the George Lucas films. The first act starts with an incompetent leader of a planet squanders its fresh air, leads them to attack their neighbouring planet for the security shield codes to the planet and the kidnap of the Princess. Mercenaries in a nearby galaxy get a large offer to retrieve a Princess before she is captured. They accept the offer to pay off a debt to a crime boss.

Screen shot of Space Balls. From the left: Barf, Dot Matrix, Princess Vespa and Lone Starr are in the Winnebago space craft, Eagle 5.
Screen shot of Spaceballs (1988)

Robin Hood: Men In Tights (1993)

Another take on the tales of Robin Hood, the film Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves and Errol Flynn’s Robin Hood. It’s also partly a musical and adventure film that found more cult status in-home video purchases. Robin Hood back from the crusades returns to England and discovers his home was repossessed by Prince John and his family were all dead with his father leaving him a key for “the greatest treasure of all the land.” Seeking answers then retaliation, he confronts Prince John for his land and “treasure”.

Screen shot of Robin HOod: Men In Tights. Robin Hood and Ahchoo fight off the Prince's knights.
Screen shot of Robin Hood: Men In Tights (1993)

Dracula: Dead and Loving It (1995)

A comedic tale of Dracula that parodies films like Bram Stoker’s Dracula, Dracula from Universal Studios and Dracula from Hammer Studios. Pretty much almost every Dracula franchise in some way. Count Dracula moves to Victorian Aged London to hunt for fresh blood. This film is mostly a parody of the 1992 Bram Stoker’s Dracula. It’s very underrated as a horror-comedy to mainstream moviegoers.

Clip from Dracula: Dead and Loving It (1995)

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