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