The Ultimate Western Spoof. A town where everyone seems to be named Johnson is in the way of the railroad. In order to grab their land, Hedley Lemar (Harvey Korman), a politically connected nasty person, sends in his henchmen to make the town unlivable. After the sheriff is killed, the town demands a new sheriff from the Governor (Mel Brooks). Hedley convinces him to send the town the first Black sheriff (Cleavon Little) in the west. Bart is a sophisticated urbanite who will have some difficulty winning over the townspeople. Written by
John Vogel <firstname.lastname@example.org>
When the film was first screened for Warner Brothers executives, almost none of them laughed and the movie looked to be a disaster that the studio would not release. However, Mel Brooks quickly set up a subsequent screening for the studio's employees. When these regular folks laughed uproariously throughout the movie, Warners finally agreed to take a chance on releasing it. See more »
During Lili Von Shtupp's musical performance, the soldier that provides a chair for her to rest in, throws his rifle down on the ground when explaining how "tired" she is. The rifle hits the stage floor and slides, bursting the stage light in front of him. The sound of the light exploding can be heard through the singing and music. See more »
Come on, boys! The way you're lollygaggin' around here with them picks and them shovels, you'd think it was a hundert an' twenty degree. Can't be more than a hundert an' fourteen.
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Karl Lukas is credited (as Karl Lucas) in opening credits only. See more »
Whenever I look at this film I laugh so hard that somtimes tears come to my eyes. Brooks manages to do with this film what Young Frankenstien did to classic horror films. The thing that really works is all the in jokes laced throughout the film. This shows that the cast and crew were really having fun in writing and producing this film. But the main credit should go to the late Cleavon Little. He was perfect as Bart. He took the role when many thought it should have gone to Richard Pryor (who was a co-writer on the film). However, I think Pryor might have been a little too over the top for the role. Little played it more low key and not as militant as Pryor might have.
Also, this film was rated R when it was first released back in 1974. Today it probably would get either a P.G. or, at most, a P.G.-13 rating.
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