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Silent Movie (1976) – Mel Brooks countdown #5

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Concept: Make a… silent movie!

Director Mel Brooks ('Mel Funn') hasn't been able to get a studio interested in making a film for years – he's seen as a drunk. Fortunately, he has an appointment with a studio in desperate need of a hit, to save them from being taken over by the 'Engulf and Devour' conglomerate.

Unfortunately, his big idea is to make a silent movie. But if it had enough big stars in, it could be a hit…

What’s good: Many of the visual jokes: the sign in E&D's bathroom is a personal favourite.

What’s not so good: With so many jokes thrown in, not all are good. In particular, some of the humour – like the repeated use of 'fags' – has dated.

Some modern viewers are also not going to know how big the 'as themselves' stars in the film were at the time and some of the humour depends on that.

Music: One of John Morris's best – with almost no dialogue, the music's particularly important.

Miscellany: The 'talkie' film with the fewest spoken words: one.

The end claims it's a true story. I can see that getting a studio to make a silent movie would have been an issue, and I can imagine that the search to get stars to agree to be in it would have been done, but I think it's more about his time before Blazing Saddles, when no studio was interested in his ideas.

Overall: Bits of it have dated, but this is one of the films he'll be remembered for.

If nothing else, it's..

TL;DR Funnier and more innovative than The Artist

Film: 3.5/5
DVD: 2/5


Written by Ian

January 10th, 2013 at 9:35 pm

Posted in Cinema,Countdown,DVDs

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