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Silent Movie (1976)

PG | | Comedy | 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:
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...
...
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Studio Chief
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Engulf
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Devour
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Vilma Kaplan
...
Pregnant Lady
Liam Dunn ...
Newsvendor
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Maitre d'
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Studio Gate Guard
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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

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Release Date:

16 June 1976 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Silent Movie Plus  »

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

On the May 19, 1981, broadcast of The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson (1962), Alan Alda related his experience of attending the film's 1976 premiere in Westwood (which had Mel Brooks and Anne Bancroft in the audience). Alda said he probably laughed harder than anyone in the crowd, and once the movie had ended, he approached Brooks and Bancroft to compliment them on a job well done. According to Alda, Bancroft didn't miss a beat and responded, "Oh, that was you laughing? You see Mel? I told you SOME idiot would find this funny!" See more »

Goofs

When Mel's car is lowered when the pregnant lady steps off, a small set of wheels can be seen below the car. These small wheels raise and low the front wheels of the car. 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 opening credits, the 20th Century Fox logo is shown on a billboard, past which Mel Brooks drives. Then the credits begin. See more »


Soundtracks

Brazil
(uncredited)
Music by Ary Barroso
Dance performed by Bernadette Peters
refrain briefly played by orchestra when Vilma is holding the audience at the sneak preview
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Brooks' overlooked gem
30 November 2004 | by (Chicago) – See all my reviews

When one speaks of Mel Brooks the talk immediately goes to either "Blazing Saddles" or "Young Frankenstein" or "The Producers." How often do you hear mention of "Silent Movie?" After watching this film again just yesterday I can say that this film is also a masterpiece and ranks on the same lines of the previous films.

"Silent Movie" is deceptively simple in plot. A washed up movie director (Brooks) comes up with an idea to make a silent movie to help save the studio that once employed him. Once given the okay by studio chief Sid Caesar, Brooks and his sidekicks Marty Feldman and Dom DeLuise set out to find five superstars to help make the movie a hit. And that's all there is to it - plot wise. What Brooks does is fill every single scene with great ideas. Shots that have absolutely nothing to do with the story are thrown in to get a laugh. Brooks hits the bullseye most of the time. I don't think I went more then a minute without laughing throughout.

Another master stroke is John Morris' rousing score that fills the movie from beginning to end. Without it the movie would have failed. And, yes, it truly is a silent movie save for one spoken word which most people probably are aware of anyway. It's another classic Mel Brooks moment.

"Silent Movie" followed "Young Frankenstein" which followed "Blazing Saddles." It's safe to say Brooks was at his peak during this period. His quality of films began to dip after "Silent Movie" starting with the amusing but overblown "High Anxiety." But we still have this time period to savor when Brooks may have been the best (if not then equal to Woody Allen) comedy director of his time.


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