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Silent Movie (1976)

PG | | Comedy, Romance | 16 June 1976 (USA)
A film director and his strange friends struggle to produce the first major silent feature film in forty years.

Director:

Writers:

(screenplay), (screenplay) | 3 more credits »
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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
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Devour
...
Vilma Kaplan
...
Pregnant Lady
Liam Dunn ...
Newsvendor
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Maitre d'
...
Studio Gate Guard
...
Intensive Care Nurse
...
Studio Chief's Secretary
Harry Ritz ...
Man in Tailor Shop
...
Blindman
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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 | Romance

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)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

One scene shows the skyline of New York City. The orchestra begins playing "San Francisco", and the music comes to a sudden and noisy halt. The orchestra then goes into "I'll Take Manhattan". See more »

Goofs

In the commissary scene, a wooden brace can be seen supporting Liza Minnelli's table so it wouldn't collapse under the weight of the suits of armor. Later, the wooden brace can be seen on the floor under the table. See more »

Quotes

Mel Funn: [seen as an insert title] Mr. Marceau, how would you like to appear in the first silent movie made in nearly fifty years?
Marcel Marceau: [in French, the only spoken line in the film] Non!
Dom Bell: [seen as an insert title after Mel hangs up the phone] What did he say?
Mel Funn: [seen as an insert title] I don't know. I don't speak French!
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 The Directors: The Films of Barry Levinson (2000) See more »

Soundtracks

Babalu
(uncredited)
Music by Margarita Lecuona
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
This is a silent review
22 November 2008 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

In the land of Mel Brooks, Blazing Saddles is often deemed king. Equal successes like Young Frankenstein and The Producers are the king's notorious sons, while Spaceballs is his court jester. And I think it's safe to say Robin Hood: Men in Tights and History of the World Part I would be the beheaded wives unable to bear him children.

But, to stretch this metaphor so thin you can see the blood running through the blue veins of its translucent skin, there's the wise old man, an adviser -- he is, in fact, the king's ailing father. Such is Silent Movie, and such is its role in the kingdom.

Making a silent film in 1976 was a gutsy move, which Brooks parodies by making the plot of Silent Movie about a director trying to make a silent picture. With only one word of dialogue -- spoken, ironically, by Marcel Marceau -- the film relies heavily on the forgotten arts of vaudeville and slapstick. Brooks is not foreign to these tricks; in fact, they have always been the primary source of laughter in all his movies. Sight gags and outrageous behavior are his fodder, and he uses them abundantly here: the Coke machine battle; the board room's reaction to Vilma Kaplan's picture; the heart monitor/Pong machine; and more.

Silent Movie is full of laughs, far more than any director has the right to expect. The reason is because Mel Brooks (who is teamed up here with the very funny duo of Dom DeLuise and Marty Feldman) will try anything for a laugh, no matter how silly. Even if we're not laughing, we're chuckling; and if we're not chuckling, we're smiling at the audacity.

To return brazenly to that thin metaphor I hatched earlier would be a kind of critical suicide. Yet I might as well. Blazing Saddles may be king, and Silent Movie may be the wise adviser. And Young Frankenstein and The Producers may be princes. But royalty usually serves a god. That god is Mel Brooks -- and with every movie of his that I see, I realize just how much I love going to his church.


13 of 16 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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