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History of the World: Part I (1981)

R | | Comedy | 12 June 1981 (USA)
Mel Brooks brings his one-of-a-kind comic touch to the history of mankind covering events from the Old Testament to the French Revolution in a series of episodic comedy vignettes.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Narrator (voice)
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Prehistoric Man / Captain Mucus - The Roman Empire (as Rudy DeLuca)
Leigh French ...
Prehistoric Woman
Richard Karron ...
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Storyline

From the dawn of man to the distant future, mankind's evolution (or lack thereof) is traced. Often ridiculous but never serious, we learn the truth behind the Roman Emperor, we learn what REALLY happened at the Last Supper, the circumstances that surrounded the French Revolution, how to test eunuchs, and what kind of shoes the Spanish Inquisitor wore. Written by Murray Chapman <muzzle@cs.uq.oz.au>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Ten million years in the making. The truth, the whole truth, and everything, but the truth! See more »

Genres:

Comedy

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

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Details

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Release Date:

12 June 1981 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A Viking Funeral  »

Box Office

Budget:

$11,000,000 (estimated)
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Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Gregory Hines replaced Richard Pryor. Just like in Mel Brooks' earlier Blazing Saddles (1974), Pryor was originally cast but had to pull out of the picture. Pryor's part eventually was taken by Hines in his screen debut. Just before filming was to begin, Pryor had his infamous drug-related accident, catching fire and getting severely burnt. See more »

Goofs

In the beginning of the Roman Empire Segment, one of the running jokes was the use of a V in place of a U. It seems that great care was taken to do this on every sign. Except the Annual Orgy sign which has two Us on it that were not changed to Vs. U's are also visible on the "Equal Opportunity Employer" sign at the Unemployment Office. See more »

Quotes

Jacques: [about to be executed in Louis's place] Please, please believe me, I'm not the king!
Crowd: BULLSHIT!
Jacques: This is a very hard crowd!
See more »

Crazy Credits

VESTAL VIRGINS Portrayed by Playboy Playmates and Models See more »

Connections

Referenced in Scandal: It's Good to Be Kink (2015) See more »

Soundtracks

The Inquisition
Music and Lyrics by Mel Brooks and Ronny Graham
Performed by Mel Brooks Jackie Mason and Ronny Graham
Original Music & Lyrics © 1981 Brooksfilms Music Limited
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

"He's definitely a eunich."
28 April 2004 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Marred only by overlength, this is one hilarious bit of cinema as Mel Brooks satirizes the stone age, the 10 Commandments, Rome, the Last Supper, the Inquisition, and Louie the 16th (sorry I couldn't get the name right). Of course, the stone age also happens to make fun of "2001 A Space Odyssey". Also funny is at the end with the whole "Jews In Space" bit. I love that stuff.

Personally I thought the best bits were set in Rome, what with the gags about Vestal Virgins, innuendo between the queen and the late Gregory Hines, the "Stand Up Philosopher", Ethiopia, getting the Roman guards high, and of course, the Last Supper. This is not to say the Inquisition Musical number is not worth a look.

"Jesus!" - Mel Brooks

"What?" - Jesus Christ


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