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'Blazing Saddles,' 40 years later: A conversation with Mel Brooks -- EXCLUSIVE

When Mel Brooks demands a harumph, you give Mel Brooks a harumph.

Harumph, harumph, harumph!

After all, he’s carving time out of his day to speak about Blazing Saddles, the delirious western that is celebrating its 40th anniversary with a special edition Blu-ray, out May 6. Time is of the essence: “I have people coming in to give me awards,” Brooks jokes. “Every 45 minutes, roughly, someone will knock on my door and give me the United Jewish something or other. I always get an award every day, some kind of award.”

Well, it’s good to be the king. And Mel Brooks has worn the crown well since Blazing Saddles, since The Producers, since Get Smart, since writing for Sid Caesar’s Your Show of Shows. But Blazing Saddles might be his zaniest movie ever, which is saying something. In 1874, a mustache-twirling villain (Harvey Korman) wants the valuable land that belongs to the white residents of Rock Ridge, so he names a black railroad worker who’s scheduled to be hanged (Cleavon Little) as their new sheriff. His plan backfires when the charming sheriff pairs up with a pickled old gunfighter (Gene Wilder), winning over the hearts, minds, and loins of the simple folk. READ FULL STORY

Joss Whedon's 'Much Ado About Nothing' to open Oscars Outdoors screening series; See full lineup

It’s much ado about movies at Oscars Outdoors this summer.

The screening series launched by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences last year is returning to Los Angeles this summer, along with some New York screenings in partnership with Rooftop Films Summer Series.


'The Godfather' to screen in Cinemark theaters on Wednesday


Francis Ford Coppola fans, here’s an offer you can’t refuse: the opportunity to see The Godfather on the big screen.

Texas-based national movie theater chain Cinemark will screen the 1972 classic in over 120 locations this week. As previously announced, The Godfather will screen this Wednesday at two separate show times, 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. READ FULL STORY

'The Producers' writer-director Mel Brooks to receive 41st AFI Lifetime Achievement Award


Mel Brooks has induced generations of fans to snort and giggle at his films, including The Producers, Spaceballs, Robin Hood: Men in Tights, Young Frankenstein, and Blazing Saddles; he’s also part of a rare club of talented folks who have won an Oscar, an Emmy, a Grammy, and a Tony, not to mention earning a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Now the 86-year-old comic writer-director can add another honor to the list: an American Film Institute Lifetime Achievement Award.

Brooks, known for witticisms in both art and in life (think: “humor is just another defense against the universe”) will receive the award at a gala tribute in Los Angeles on June 6, 2013, the AFI announced on Friday. The event will be aired by TNT and Turner Classic Movies.  READ FULL STORY

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