Contrary to popular belief, Blazing Saddles isn't just a
parody of the western genre, but of Hollywood in general.
The plot sees a crooked politician appoint a black sheriff in
a town which stands in the way of his railroad plans, hoping that a man of colour in a position of seniority will drive out the townsfolk and the buildings can be demolished without fuss. With
the help of his alcoholic deputy, the sheriff foils the dastardly plan and (quite literally) rides off into the sunset.
1974 was a spectacular year for Mel Brooks, who also poked fun
at classic horror genre with Young Frankenstein (qv). Blazing Saddles isn't quite the peak of his talents, but his zany, slapstick style, along with a pinch of surrealism and vulgarity make this
an original piece of 1970's comedy with several hilarious and iconic moments. It certainly couldn't be made in the modern era, and some looking back may accuse it of racism... but they'd be
completely missing the point of the movie.
Did You Know:
Mel Brooks never told Frankie Laine that the theme
song "Blazing Saddles" was for a comedy. Laine thought it was a dramatic western. Brooks was worried that Laine wouldn't sing it with conviction if he knew the truth.