The Big Screen Comedies of Mel Brooks

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About the Book

Mel Brooks is often regarded as one of Hollywood’s funniest men, thanks to such highly successful films as The Producers, Blazing Saddles, and Young Frankenstein. His films do have a tendency to turn out much like the jokes that comprise them—hit-or-miss, one minute shoot-the-moon brilliant and the next minute well short of laughs.
This work provides a thorough synopsis and thematic analysis for each of his twelve films along with complete cast and production credits: The Producers (1968), The Twelve Chairs (1970), Blazing Saddles (1974), Young Frankenstein (1974), Silent Movie (1976), High Anxiety (1977), History of the World—Part 1 (1981), To Be or Not to Be (1983), Spaceballs (1987), Life Stinks (1991), Robin Hood: Men in Tights (1993), and Dracula: Dead and Loving It (1995).

About the Author(s)

Teacher Robert Alan Crick has written analyses for various journals and books about radio, television, and the movies. He lives in Russellville, Kentucky.

Bibliographic Details

Robert Alan Crick
Format: softcover (7 x 10)
Pages: 269
Bibliographic Info: photos, appendix, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2009 [2002]
pISBN: 978-0-7864-4326-0
eISBN: 978-1-4766-1228-7
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Introduction     1

1 “I’M HYSTERICAL, AND I’M WET!”

The Producers (1968)     15

2 “HOPE FOR THE BEST, EXPECT THE WORST”

The Twelve Chairs (1970)     33

3 “HAVE YOU EVER SEEN SUCH CRUELTY?”

Blazing Saddles (1974)     50

4 “PUT…THE CANDLE…BACK!”

Young Frankenstein (1974)     67

5 “DON’T YOU KNOW THAT SLAPSTICK IS DEAD?!”

Silent Movie (1976)     84

6 “WHAT A DRAMATIC AIRPORT!”

High Anxiety (1977)     100

7 “IT’S GOOD TO BE THE KING!”

History of the World—Part I (1981)     118

8 “SONDHEIM! SEND IN THE CLOWNS!”

To Be or Not to Be (1983)     136

9 “MAY THE SCHWARTZ BE WITH YOU!”

Spaceballs (1987)     150

10 “WE HAVE REACHED CAPACITY!”

Life Stinks (1991)     167

11 “LEAVE US ALONE, MEL BROOKS!”

Robin Hood: Men in Tights (1993)     185

12 “AND YOU WILL REMEMBER NOTHING!”

Dracula: Dead and Loving It (1995)     206

Appendix     224

Bibliography     235

Index     243

Book Reviews & Awards

“enthusiastic”—Film Review; “useful and interesting features…a notable and impressive list of the moviemaker’s work throughout his career”—Film & History.