Greatest Film Scenes
and Moments

Blazing Saddles (1974)


Written by Tim Dirks

Title Screen
Movie Title/Year and Scene Descriptions

Blazing Saddles (1974)

In Mel Brooks' iconoclastic, non-politically-correct western spoof - one of the funniest, most successful and most popular films, with non-stop jokes and slapstick, was an unsubtle spoof, lampooning or parodying all the cliches from the time-honored genre of westerns and cowboys, with much political incorrectness, vulgarity, offensiveness and political satire:

  • in the early scene of a town meeting in Rock Ridge's white homogenous church, Reverend Johnson asked whether the townsfolk should stay or leave the lawless town: ("Well, I don't have to tell you good folks what has been happening here in our beloved town. Sheriff murdered, crops burned, stores looted, people stampeded and cattle raped! Now the time has come to act. And act fast! I'm leaving");
  • he was interrupted by a grizzly mountaineer named Gabby Johnson (Jack Starrett), who argued unintelligibly in a speech composed of "frontier gibberish" about remaining steadfastly in town: ("You get back here, you old pious, candy-ass sidewinder! There ain't no way that nobody is gonna leave this town! Hell, I was born here, and I was raised here and dadgum it, I'm gonna die here! And no sidewinder, bushwhacking, hornswoggling, cracker croaker, is gonna ruin me biscuit-cutter!")
  • the group decided to petition the Governor to send the town a new Sheriff - because every Sheriff appointed by the townspeople has been murdered
  • the near-sighted and dim-witted Governor Le Petomane (Mel Brooks) was being advised at the same time by his own villainous and scheming Attorney General Hedley Lamarr (Harvey Korman) to take over 200,000 acres of Indian land in exchange for a box of paddle-board toys, and to convert a hospital (for the insane) into a gambling casino (for the insane)
  • the Governor first appeared (in his underwear), nuzzling into bosomy secretary Miss Stein's (Robyn Hilton) cleavage while addressing her full breasts: "Hello boys. Have a good night's rest? I missed you"
  • a new scheme was developed by the Governor and his AG - a cheap land grab of the town of Rock Ridge where a railroad route was about to be constructed. The AG turned the idea of a law-and-order sheriff into his own advantage, to panic the citizens so that they would cheaply sell out their land to him. Their plot was to take over the town of Rock Ridge (in the path of the railroad) by scaring off the townsfolk and replacing them with their own thugs, led by villainous Taggart (Slim Pickens)
  • as part of their scheme, pardoned black railroad worker Bart (Cleavon Little) was to be appointed as the new Sheriff. The assumption was that the bigoted townsfolk would immediately leave town once they saw the black Sheriff - thereby leaving the town vulnerable to take-over
  • the naive new Sheriff Black Bart (in a gaudy but fashionable cowboy outfit) rode into Rock Ridge to be greeted by a welcoming ceremony - during his acceptance speech, he warned the townsfolk as he reached down into the front of his pants: "Excuse me while I whip this out" - to the sound of their gaspings; when the townspeople soon realized that he was a "ni-," they threatened to shoot him. To divert the mob, hold them at bay and escape, Bart held a gun to his own neck, shouting: "Hold it. The next man makes a move, the n----r gets it...Drop it!"
  • drunken former gunslinger The 'Waco Kid' (Gene Wilder), in jail in town, met the new Sheriff; the Waco Kid explained his past history to Black Bart: "Oh, well, it got so that every piss-ant prairie punk who thought he could shoot a gun would ride into town to try out the Waco Kid. I must have killed more men than Cecil B. DeMille. It got pretty gritty. I started to hear the word 'draw' in my sleep. Then one day, I was just walking down the street, and I heard a voice behind me say, 'Reach for it, Mister!' And I spun around and there I was, face to face with a six-year-old kid. Well, I just threw my guns down and walked away - little bastard shot me in the ass! So I limped to the nearest saloon, crawled inside a whiskey bottle, and, I've been there ever since"; soon the two would be allied together to save the town
  • in the film's most notorious, vulgar and well-remembered scene, gassed-up, wind-breaking, flatulent cowboys from Taggart's crew sat around the night's campfire eating beans - burping and farting incessantly - bathroom humor at its finest. When Taggart was asked: "How about some more beans, Mr. Taggart?", he replied with exasperation: "I'd say you've had enough!" -- play clip (excerpt): Blazing Saddles
  • Taggart was pleased that the dreaded, simple-minded brutish Mongo (ex-football player Alex Karras) was proposed as the one to kill the new black sheriff; the thuggish Mongo entered Rock Ridge riding an ox to threaten the town, then later punched out a horse with a bare, single-fisted punch, but was ineffective against Black Bart
Unique Western Characters
The Waco Kid (Gene Wilder) and Black Bart (Cleavon Little)
Taggart (Slim Pickens) and AG Hedley Lamarr (Harvey Korman)
Mongo (Alex Karras)
  • Rock Ridge's saloon singer Lili Von Shtupp (Madeline Kahn) delivered an exquisite parody of Marlene Dietrich's "Frenchy" from Destry Rides Again (1939), when on stage; she performed an off-key version of I'm Tired, parodying Marlene Dietrich's Falling in Love Again with a world-weary Germanic, monotoned accent and a lisp; in the lyrics, she asked one of the drooling cowboys: "Hello, handsome, is that a ten-gallon hat - or are you just enjoying the show?" (a variation of one of Mae West's most infamous pronouncements)
  • after Lili's performance, Lamarr schemed with her to seduce sheriff Black Bart (and then break his heart) with a parody of Jean Harlow in Hell's Angels (1930): ("Won't you excuse me for a moment while I slip into something a little bit more comfortable?"); after the lights were turned out in a back room of the saloon with Bart, she asked him if black men were "gifted," and went to investigate his physical endowments in the dark - she was memorably impressed: "Tell me, schatzie [affectionate German nickname meaning sweetheart, little treasure or little dear one], is it twue what they say about the way you people are gifted? (A loud zipper noise signaled that his fly was opened.) Oh, it's twue. It's twue. It's twue. It's twue..." - Lili was the one who turned out to be seduced
  • meanwhile, Black Bart and the Waco Kid snooped around the chain gang site where the railroad track was being laid, and they learned that the railroad tracks were going to pass directly through the town. Suddenly, it dawned on them why Lamarr was involved in his evil scheme
  • foiled again, Hedley made a request of cowpoke Taggart to find individuals to assault the town: ("I want you to round up every vicious criminal and gunslinger in the west. Take this down....I want rustlers, cutthroats, murderers, bounty hunters, desperados, mugs, pugs, thugs, nitwits, half-wits, dimwits, vipers, snipers, con men, Indian agents, Mexican bandits, muggers, buggerers, bushwhackers, hornswagglers, horse thieves, bull dykes, train robbers, bank robbers, ass-kickers, shit-kickers and Methodists") - with Taggart's dumbfounded response: "Could you repeat that, sir?"
  • in a related scene, Hedley was reviewing the qualifications of the applicants selected to assault the town (Hedley Lamarr: "Qualifications?" Applicant: "Rape, murder, arson, and rape." Hedley Lamarr: "You said rape twice." Applicant: "I like rape."); nearby, in order to get closer to see what was happening and entice two KKK members away in order to steal their white robes and hoods, the Waco Kid held up Bart as bait from behind a large rock as he called out: "Hey, boys! Look what I've got here."; Bart also called out with a mock-dumb (racially-stereotyped) taunt: "Hey! Where are the white women at?"
  • later that evening, Bart enlisted the aid of black, chain-gang railroad workers to build an exact replica of Rock Ridge (three miles east of the real town), and to lure Taggart and his gang of men to destroy it instead of the real town; after luring Taggart's men into the town, a dynamite blast sent bodies of horses and men flying into the air; the good guys - Bart, the Kid, the townspeople, Mongo, and the chain gang laborers swooped down into the town to wipe out the bad guys with clubs and hand-to-hand combat
  • the film ended with an absurdist brawl between the two sides - when the camera pulled back to show that the film was being shot on a present-day Hollywood set in the middle of Los Angeles
  • in an adjoining soundstage on the lot, a pseudo-Busby Berkeley musical number ("The French Mistake") was being performed with an all-gay cast of men in black tuxedos and top hats, directed by effeminate choreographer Buddy Bizarre (Dom DeLuise); the choreographer criticized the dancers and demanded that they watch his own flawed demonstration: "Just watch me. It's so simple, you sissy Marys! Give me the playback! And watch me, faggots" - the chorus sang as he stumbled around: "Throw out your hands Stick out your tush Hands on your hips Give 'em a push You'll be surprised You're doing the French Mistake! Voila!"
  • the chaotic fighting from the Blazing Saddles set burst through the "fourth wall", bringing two conflicting film genres together, and degenerated into a major fight; in the studio's commissary where bikini clad actresses, a Hitler-look-alike (Ralph Manza), and others were eating, the Adolph Hitler character responded to a question about how many days he had left: "They lose me right after the bunker scene," as the place erupted into a 'great pie fight.'
  • the melee spilled out onto the streets of Burbank and included the landmark Grauman Chinese Theatre in Hollywood; Bart pursued Hedley who ran from the movie theatre and shot him in the groin; then he joined his buddy the Kid to watch the ending of movie that was playing inside -- Blazing Saddles
  • the film ended with a happy conclusion - in the screened film - as the people of the saved town of Rock Ridge said goodbye to their black sheriff; Bart bid them goodbye with an obligatory farewell speech about how he was moving on; he invited the Waco Kid to join him, and they rode out of town into the desert where they dismounted, entered an awaiting limo, and drove off 'into the sunset'

Rev. Johnson and Gabby Johnson

Gov. Le Petomane and Miss Stein

Black Bart Entering Town as New Sheriff

Black Bart: "Excuse me while I whip this out"

The Waco Kid Explaining His Past History to the New Sheriff

Bean-Eating Campfire Scene

Lili Von Shtupp (Madeline Kahn)

Lili Seduced by Black Bart

Taggart to Hedley: "Could you repeat that, sir?"

Hedley Reviewing Applicant Qualifications: "You said rape twice"

Buddy Bizarre (Dom DeLuise)

Film's Ending: The Kid and Bart Dismounting and Entering a Limousine in the Desert


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