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History of the World: Part I
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Reviews & Ratings for
History of the World: Part I More at IMDbPro »

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1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

In the history of Brooks' films, my fav is still Spaceballs but this one is funny and breezy

Author: Amy Adler from Toledo, Ohio
13 April 2009

Starting with the Stone Age and ending with the French Revolution, this film has some very amusing vignettes. Caveman (Sid Caesar) learns about fire and vaudeville, when one of his fellow cavers gets hauled off a stage by a dinosaur. Next up is Moses (Mel Brooks himself) who is bringing down the "15 Commandments" but ends up dropping and pulverizing the tablet with five of the biggies on it. Much time is spent telling the "true" story of Ancient Rome, where Nero (Dom DeLuise) is still crazy as a loon but likes stand-up routines and where his wife, Nympho (Madeleine Kahn) can make decision or two behind his back. Slave Josephus (Gregory Hinds) dodges a few swords but ends up on the road to freedom, where he and others find a nice patch of weed and decide that the collapse of the empire is nothing serious. And, so it goes. Brooks has created a nice little humorous movie, sending up some of the more heinous periods of world history (The Inquistion, Madame LeFarge (Cloris Leachman) and creating mirth. The cast is the greatest asset, for the members are truly legends who could make a stone giggle. The sets, costumes, and production values are also quite wonderful and the script and direction are zesty and humorous. While my personal favorite of Brooks' movies remains Spaceballs (my hair, they shot my hair!), this one will do more than nicely when comedic relief is greatly needed. It might even send viewers to the library or the internet to learn the historical facts about the real events behind the laughs. In any case, make it part of your personal history to record a viewing of this funny little flick.

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2 out of 4 people found the following review useful:


Author: eoin kearney from Ireland
28 July 2014

this is a bad movie. The jokes fail only the start is funny both good comedies should be funny though out. Not just at one point. some of the skits long overstay there welcome like the roman skit. What was the point of the roman skit it is not funny. I almost fell asleep during that one. Also why are the jokes so unfunny. This movie was great at the start so much that if the rest of the movie was like that I would have given this movie a ten out of ten. Like the part were one of them lights a drug plant of fire and it defects the roman guards seriously. My overall rating is three out of ten if only this had better jokes and then I might like it

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2 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

You flunked flanking?!?

Author: abgkasjlkasjla from Denmark
7 January 2011

This is a series of sketches(and they're frankly quite hit and miss), detailing(well, spoofing) historical events(I have a feeling the Moses bit is what actually happened if The Old Testament wasn't a collection of poorly written, hateful fiction), starting at the dawn of man and ending with The French Revolution. Other than the longest portion, set in ancient Rome, there is no continuous plot, really. It's a nice satire, with plenty to laugh at, with silly stuff, cleverness, plays on words, smut, some slapstick, crude material, weirdness. We do get the, for the period mandatory, annoying "sassy black dude"(on the plus side, it makes fun of Christianity). This is quite sexually suggestive, and features some rather nice cleavage. It's *very* Jewish and Brooksian. There are a few ill-shot and/or –edited bits, though on the whole, it is put together well(in spite of the occasional obvious matte painting). The central musical number(about the Inquisition!) isn't half bad. There is a bunch of mild violence and disturbing content, and a moderate amount of strong language. I recommend this to any fan of Mel. 7/10

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2 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Mel Brooks: quotable

Author: LivingDog from NYC, NY
16 August 2007

Many lines in this movie are not well delivered; some are. This is not as funny as it should be. In my opinion they knew they had an audience and they were forcing the comedy - as if to make it the comic genius it already is. This failed. However, after you see the movie you will recall many many lines and have hours of classic Mel Brooks comedy over the years. When you finally go back to see it again ... and you will ... you will laugh the way you should have laughed when you first saw it but didn't b/c you noticed how hard the comedians were pushing to make this a comic icon. 9/10.



my faith:

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2 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Hit-and-miss comedy

Author: Pucki from Berlin, Germany
20 December 2001

The master of parody strikes again and this time he takes on the entire history of the world, no less...

While I found the concept of several segments from short skit to half-feature length mini-movie just to be the right one for this kind of film, the segments do differ in quality very much (and, sadly, quality gets poorer towards the end).

Although the film does have its weak points (the French Revolution segment drags, despite some good gags every now and then, the Stone Age sequence)some material is hilariously funny with the Spanish Inquisition musical number being the showstopper. The Roman Empire story also comes off good (especially the great supporting actors in this segment) and be sure to stay tuned for the trailer for "Part 2".

As a whole, the film cannot hold ground against "Spaceballs", "Blazing Saddles" or "Frankenstein Junior", but for a decent viewing and some good laughs, tune it in when it appears on TV.

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2 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Still pretty funny

Author: Joseph Jones from Clearwater
8 December 2001

I remember watching this on cable as a kid, probably not getting all the jokes, but still enjoying it cuz I love history. Now, I've got a DVD player and I wanted to see it in it's original widescreen presentation.

The movie is a mixed bag, really. Not anywhere near the classic that "Blazing Saddles" and "Young Frankenstein" are, "History of the World Part I" still offer plenty of good, strong laughs. The script, which never really hits a stride or rhythm, bounces from the Stone Age to The Old Testament to The Roman Empire to The Spanish Inquisition to The French Revolution, skewering all the legends and myths and mostly throwing the facts completely aside. The comedic highlight is without question The Spanish Inquisition--appallingly offensive and gut-bustingly funny. The Roman Empire sketch has the most consistent laughs, with especial thanks to the legendary Madeline Kahn. Harvey Korman and Cloris Leachman are the sole redeeming aspects of The French Revolution segment, which is a rather tired parody of "A Tale of Two Cities"--though I'll never be able to look at Blanche Yurka without laughing ever again.

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2 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

A great movie, if you don't want to think.

Author: Sparklingdiamond_25 from Louisville, KY
30 June 1999

This is another one of those stupid Mel Brooks movies--I love it, personally. When you're tired or upset, you don't want to watch some boring movie that you have to spend hours analyzing. You want straight out gags and something that will keep you laughing. That's what this movie is for, my friend. That is, if you like tasteless humour, some of which you have to have *some* education for. But overall, it's just a dumb movie that you have to love. Why can't history class be so fun?

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3 out of 6 people found the following review useful:


Author: Matt Barry from Baltimore, Maryland
6 February 1999

Mel Brooks' hilarious HISTORY OF THE WORLD-PART 1 is a hilarious "history lesson," as only Mel Brooks could tell it. It is easily one of his best. The supporting cast is incredible. Mel plays several roles; Comicus (the stand-up philosopher), Torquemada (the Grand-Inquisitor), King Louis XVI, as well as Jacques, his servant. His supporting cast includes Gregory Hines, Madeline Kahn, Sid Caesar, Dom DeLuise, Jackie Mason, Cloris Leachman, Ron Carey,John Hurt (as Jesus, in a hilarious last-supper sequence) as well as Harvey Korman as Count de Monet, and many other guest stars and Brooks regulars.The entire film is well-made, especially all the sets depicting the Stone Age, Roman Empire, Spanish Inquisition, and The French Revolution. Dilaogue(by Brooks)is great("It's good to be the King!")-there's enough innuendo for 7 movies. A must for Brooks fans,and fans of comedy as well. Let's just hope Brooks' next project is "HISTORY OF THE WORLD-PART 2"!

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4 out of 8 people found the following review useful:

And to think that some people consider history boring!

Author: Lee Eisenberg ( from Portland, Oregon, USA
15 April 2006

Since "History of the World: Part I" is from Mel Brooks, we all know what that means! Specifically, there's the Fifteen Commandments, the waiter at the Last Supper, a musical Spanish Inquisition, and a very un-French Revolution. You gotta wonder how Mel Brooks comes up with these things. I think that my favorite part was the Inquisition, and the joke on Torquemada's name. And of course, the suggestions for the sequel were also great; the sort of things that only Mel Brooks could do. Classic, hilarious, and everything such.

Anyway, Brooks plays several different people throughout the movie. Also starring are Dom DeLuise, Madeline Kahn, Harvey Korman, Cloris Leachman, Gregory Hines, Sid Caesar and John Hurt. Orson Welles narrates. You read that right: Orson Welles narrates a Mel Brooks movie.

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6 out of 12 people found the following review useful:

An epic of comedic proportions....

Author: Mister-6 from United States
12 November 1999

This is, without a doubt, one of my favorite comedies of all time, coming as it does from Mel Brooks as it successfully skewers such movie staples as the big-budget epic, musicals and, of course, sequel-itis.

Mel (in my humble yet informed opinion) has never been in better form during the '80s as he was here: lashing out in full force as writer, director and actor against the stoic straightness of history with a sardonic smile and twisted wit.

He surrounds himself with a more-than-capable cast, including such mega-star comics as Caesar (whose caveman seemed to develop all of man's first inventions all by himself), Kahn (his eternal diva and a sassy diva at that), Greene (pompous, puffed-up and ready to pop), DeLuise (making slobbery a pure art form), Korman (Hedley Lamaar in royal French garb - and still as funny), and even such loyal stand-bys as Carter, Murray, Milligan and DeLuca offer able-bodied support.

But let's not forget Hines. In his first major motion picture role as Josephus, he shucks and jives, sand-dances and withstands the fiery dancing of Caledonia like a pro. Just an inkling of what his career had to offer later on, and a perfect calling-card for a future in show business.

And the jokes! There are some classic Mel bits here that have stood the test of time and will continue to do so. Such classic bits as "The Inquisition", Comicus' first gig at Caesar's Palace, the Caveman's critique of that cave painting, "Count duh money, count duh money!", that obscene French chess game, even the coming attractions offer a few smiles.

But how can anyone cite certain favorites? The whole movie is a grab bag of jokes, many off-color and sure to offend. As if Mel made "Blazing Saddles" to please everyone...yeah, right.

In the end, "History" was the passing of an era, since Mel has made fewer movies as "R"-rated, raunchy, raucous, dis-respectful and belly-laughable as this one. He's still good, mind you, but just watch this one and see if you don't agree: what a wonderful "World".

Ten stars and a true sense of "awww" for "History of the World, Part I". Just ask Mel, he'll tell you - it's good to be king.

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