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Silent Movie (1976)

 -  Comedy  -  16 June 1976 (USA)
6.7
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Ratings: 6.7/10 from 10,847 users  
Reviews: 53 user | 33 critic

A film director and his strange friends struggle to produce the first major silent feature film in forty years.

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(screenplay), (screenplay), 3 more credits »
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Airs Thu. Dec. 25, 10:00 PM on TCM

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Title: Silent Movie (1976)

Silent Movie (1976) on IMDb 6.7/10

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Nominated for 4 Golden Globes. Another 1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
Studio Chief
...
Engulf
...
Devour
...
Vilma Kaplan
...
Pregnant Lady
Liam Dunn ...
Newsvendor
Fritz Feld ...
Maitre d'
...
Studio Gate Guard
...
Intensive Care Nurse
Yvonne Wilder ...
Studio Chief's Secretary
Harry Ritz ...
Man in Tailor Shop
...
Blindman
Edit

Storyline

Aspiring filmmakers Mel Funn, Marty Eggs and Dom Bell go to a financially troubled studio with an idea for a silent movie. In an effort to make the movie more marketable, they attempt to recruit a number of big name stars to appear, while the studio's creditors attempt to thwart them. The film contains only one word of dialogue, spoken by an unlikely source. Written by Scott Renshaw <as.idc@forsythe.stanford.edu>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Release Date:

16 June 1976 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

La última locura de Mel Brooks  »

Box Office

Budget:

$4,400,000 (estimated)

Gross:

SEK 7,052,046 (Sweden)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Brooks and his writers concoct a sight gag they loved, in which the customers at a seafood restaurant would be human-sized lobsters, who pick terrified humans out of an aquarium to be cooked for dinner. However, the gag bombed at sneak previews and was deleted. See more »

Goofs

When Mel Funn walks into Big Picture Studios to sell his idea of a silent movie to the CEO, his fingers are supposed to be stuck crossed together. For a few seconds after entering the office his fingers return to normal before shaking the CEO's hand. See more »

Quotes

Mel Funn: [via title card] Marry me and you will never have to take your clothes off again.
See more »

Crazy Credits

At the end of the movie, the letter O of the ending word ''GOOD BYE'' is zooming out, just like at the beginning with the word ''HELLO''. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Who Wants to Be a Millionaire: Episode #7.39 (2008) See more »

Soundtracks

Rio Bomba Bossa Nova
Composed by John Morris
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Incredible that he got it made - but not a patch on the real thing.
27 June 2004 | by (Oz) – See all my reviews

Brooks gets a silent movie made! Surely he deserves some kind of award for this - sure, he got away with it by the similarities between this project and his previous ones: it would be a spoof, a send up of silents, like he'd previously sent up the western, classic horror and the movie business in general. The other way he got it made serves as dramatic irony in the movie itself: "Silent Movie" is about Mel Funn, a movie director who ruined his career with drink, and his misfit friends Dom Deluise and Young Frankenstein's Marty Feldman who try to both resurrect Funn's career and save the studio from being taken over by the evil Engulf and Devour Corporation by putting on a silent movie. The only way Funn gets his studio boss (Sid Ceasar) to agree to the project, is if the picture is loaded with stars! So the primary plot of the movie is Funn and his friends chasing stars around town trying to get them to sign. It is ironic because each time a major star like Liza Minelli or Paul Newman appears for a token cameo, this star by their presence helps Brooks convince his boss to do the picture. Stars are really all that's needed to get a picture green-lit. If you've got Jack Nicholson or Tom Cruise saying they want to do your picture: it doesn't matter WHAT the script is like - it'll happen! There are other ways it'll happen, i'm sure, but the big star is sure-fire.

On to quality control: Brooks ends up with something that's fun, but just not as clever or complex as the thing its trying to send up. Physical comedy is actually a terribly tricky thing to do well, and make funny - and a whole nother ball game from dialogue comedies (the norm for Brooks - if you turned the sound off Spaceballs, you'd be left with nothing. Same for Blazing Saddles. It was presumptuous to think he could make a silent movie. The comic situations he's thought up are just so elementary. Its just a disconnected series of gags sewed Frankenstein-style onto the skeleton of "finding big stars to be in Mel Funn's silent movie."

There's certainly nothing to offend silent film fans here - its all very good natured, just very naive as to how to make a good physical comedy. The man who should actually make a silent comedy is Rowan Atkinson - best physical comic since the masters.

So i guess my main regret is that this will not probably win any fans for silent movies, let alone encourage people to check them out. If you want to see some great silent comedy, check out Chaplin's The Kid, Keaton's The General and Sherlock Jr. Those should be good jumping-off points.


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