Blazing Saddles

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Blazing Saddles is a 1974 satirical Western comedy film directed by Mel Brooks. Starring Cleavon Little and Gene Wilder, it was written by Mel Brooks, Andrew Bergman, Richard Pryor, Norman Steinberg, and Al Uger, and was based on Bergman's story and draft.[2] The movie was nominated for three Academy Awards, and is considered one of the great American comedies, coming in at number six on AFI's 100 Years... 100 Laughs list.

Brooks appears in multiple supporting roles, including Governor William J. Le Petomane, a Yiddish speaking Indian Chief and Adolf Hitler. Other supporting actors include Slim Pickens, Alex Karras, David Huddleston, as well as regulars Dom DeLuise, Madeline Kahn, and Harvey Korman. Musician Count Basie has a cameo as himself.

The film exposes the racism obscured by myth-making Hollywood accounts of the American West, but in a highly satirical way, with the film's hero being black. The film is full of anachronisms, from a jazz band in the Wild West to a rustler referring to the Wide World of Sports to Nazis and a camel waiting in the line for villains.

Contents

Plot

In the American Old West of 1874, construction on a new railroad runs into quicksand. The route has to be changed, which will require it to go through Rock Ridge, a frontier town where everyone has the last name of "Johnson" (including a "Howard Johnson", a "Dr. Samuel Johnson", a "Van Johnson" and an "Olson N. Johnson".) The conniving State Attorney General Hedley Lamarr (Harvey Korman) – not to be confused, as he often is in the film, with actress Hedy Lamarr – wants to buy the land along the new railroad route cheaply by driving the townspeople out. He sends a gang of thugs, led by his flunky Taggart (Slim Pickens), to scare them away, prompting the townsfolk to demand that Governor William J. LePetomane (Mel Brooks) appoint a new sheriff. The Attorney General convinces the dim-witted Governor to select Bart (Cleavon Little), a black railroad worker who was about to be hanged for hitting Taggart in the head with a shovel, as the new sheriff. Because Bart is black, Lamarr believes that this will so offend the townspeople they will either abandon the town or lynch the new sheriff.

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