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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 3 people found the following review useful:

"most disappointing comedy of the decade"? NO WAY!

Author: stickboy-3 from pottstown pa
6 April 1999

I read somewhere on another site that this Brooks movie was considered by many people as "the most disappointing comedy of the decade". Obviously, those people never saw such dog crap such as Leonard Part 6, Hobgoblins, or Cobra. (yes, I consider Cobra a comedy. But I'll save that for another review.) Anyway, out of all the Brooks movies, this one has to be the raunchiest. (even more then Blazing Saddles) You actually also can learn something about history by watching it but once you see classic funny scenes such as the "mighty joint" or King Louie's "jump the queen!!!" you'll forget all about the educational part of the movie. Out of all of Brooks' original musical numbers, the Inquisition song I think is his most singable and has the best lyrics. (Actually, I love the Blazing Saddles theme song but that doesn't count because it isn't sung by Brooks himself.) If you like plenty of sexual inneuendo, and just plain gross bodily function jokes, you'll love History Of The World: Part 1. Hmm....I hear Brooks might be making a sequel to The Producers....sounds great but why not make us stop waiting and just make a HOTW: Part 2???!!!

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2 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

This movie kicks aars!

Author: Rowald Laterveer from Netherlands
23 September 2005

Mel Brooks has done it again. I love all of his movies but this one is the funniest ever made! OK, you have to be in a "no thinking just watching" mood.

The story begins with the apemen, and you will see the first artist and critticus born. The movie takes you to Mozes and the biggest part to the Romans. (Some slaves are not suitable for sale!) You will see why the 20 commandments are 10 now and the Spanish acquisition will also pass the revue.

The movie has a bunch of visual jokes, like the Roman V for a U, a ghettoblaster and some languagejokes. (It is best to listen to the English, translations may kill the clue!)

So when your pizza arrive's, grab a beer and watch this movie! If you like this humor, also watch: Spaceballs, Robin Hood in Tights etc.

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2 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

I didn't get it.

Author: Francisco Huerta ( from Mexico City
14 March 2001

I am all for silly comedies. I loved "Ace Ventura I". I loved "Airplane!". "Spaceballs"? "Blazing Saddles"? "Young Frankenstein"? Superb. "There's something about Mary"? I couldn't stop laughing. "Duck Soup"? Verbal abuse at its very best. But this movie?

I didn't get it.

A masturbation scene. Wow. Mel Brooks appearing as central character in every sketch. He's funny, but please, stop hogging the screen! A slave that can tap dance. Am I supposed to laugh? A "French Revolution" scene that lasts way too long. A "Roman" sketch that hardly has any laughs. Hmmm.

There are, indeed, invaluable bits of comic genious in it. Using Caesar's Palace as a backdrop for the Roman Empire makes me smile just remembering it. The whole Caesar - Marcus Vindictus verbal exchange is priceless. The Inquisition sketch. The first Homo-Sapiens and Homo-Sexual weddings. And the previews for the Part II. But that's it. Some 15 minutes of the movie make sense to me.

Maybe it is because I come from a different cultural background. Then again, I usually laugh at U.S. humor. Maybe I was born in the wrong decade (mid 70's, if anyone is counting). But this is not a movie I would watch more than once.

Now, where did I leave "Duck Soup"...?

6 out of 10. But just because of the classic "It's better to lose your skullcap than your skull... oybey!"

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2 out of 5 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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3 out of 7 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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4 out of 9 people found the following review useful:

Lame, lame, lame

Author: bloodbathcat from Canada
3 June 2008

Sharing a similarity in structure to Monty Python's Meaning of life and sharing, I presume, the same type of public at the time we can fully " appreciate " the near-disaster that is Brooks effort : just compare the Monthy 's Sperm is Sacred part to the Spanish Inquisition of this one( which must have still used a good chunk of the movie's 11 million dollars budget )…

About 5 good jokes( some of them actually being after the movie in a preview to a part 2 which was never made ).

My favorite joke : the one about Oedipus, it last about 2 seconds.

Pathetic jeux de mots and what was fresh and new in movies like Airplane ! are frankly embarrassing when Mel Brooks tries to be as witty only a year later.

The french revolution is perhaps the best segment but it comes at the end of a dreadful trip.

Bland performances throughout but then again maybe even Belushi as a decadent Cesear would not have done much with such a bad script.

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5 out of 11 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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1 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Don't Expect a Part II

Author: Hollywood_Yoda from Outside Hollywood
19 September 2006

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Mel Brooks does it again, this time with history. And if you saw the title and expected a Part II, you are out of luck. Most of Brooks films conclude with a spoof sequel. From the rise of (a very slow and lazy) man to the French Revolution, we are shown what history may have been like, if Mel Brooks were God. Biblical proportions such as Mel Brooks playing Moses with the "original" 15 commandments (he drops a tablet) and now we have "10, the 10 Commandments." This reminded me of a sequence on Saturday Night Live, where President Clinton's ancestor questions each of the Commandments (See "Best of the Clinton Scandal"). In another segment, we see a younger Hugh Hefner in the streets of Rome. He is explaining to some girls the concept of what a "centerfold" is. Gregory Hines is of note for his first feature film, and comes out funny. With that and all else, I had to give this "Mel Brooks Masterpiece" an excellent 10 of 10 rating.

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1 out of 4 people found the following review useful:


Author: Shannon from So*Cal
19 May 2004

*** This review may contain spoilers ***


I thought this was going to be like "Blazing Saddles" or "Young Frankenstein." Well, I was wrong.

It's not a total loss. I did like the way Mel Brooks decided to make fun of world history, however, the series of events were a bit choppy. Brooks jumped from the Roman Empire to the Inquizition, an interval of about a thousand years, missing the fall of the Roman Empire and the Crusades. Brooks introduces the French Revolution but makes no mention of Napoleon Bonaparte, which would make for more laughs.

Brooks should've included the Viking funeral he had set aside for "part II." There is a lot of sexual innuendo/references, however, being a student of history I found the film entertaining. I give it 2.5 out of 5 stars.

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1 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Just plain silly

Author: grahamsj3 from United States
12 February 2004

This is supposed to be a comedy, but is just plain silly, which, to me is the antithesis of actual comedy. I expected something a bit more "grown up" than what this turned out to be. I thought that the basic premise was good, but that the film failed to exploit it, being too busy being sophomoric and silly. It wasn't bad, and there is definitely some funny material in the film, but overall, it just doesn't quite live up to Brook's other material (Young Frankenstein or Blazing Saddles). It was as disappointment to me. It's surprising, particularly given it's cast, most of whom are known for good comedy work. So I must blame the writing. I guess even Mel Brooks is allowed to write a bad one once in a while. Well, this is it!

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