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. It was an unsubtle spoof or parody of all the cliches from the time-honored genre of westerns:

  • 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 nigger gets it...Drop it!"
  • drunken former gunslinger The Waco Kid (Gene Wilder), in jail in town, soon allied with the new Sheriff, to save the town
  • the infamous gas-passing, bean-eating scene around the campfire by flatulent cowboys
  • thuggish Mongo (Alex Karras) entered Rock Ridge riding an ox to threaten the town, then later punched out a horse with a bare, single-fisted punch
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)
  • saloon singer Lili Von Shtupp (Madeline Kahn) delivered an exquisite parody of Marlene Dietrich's "Frenchy" from Destry Rides Again (1939), when on stage at the Rock Ridge Saloon, 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, she asked Bart 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
  • 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 recruiting men to assault the town (Hedley Lamarr: "Qualifications?" Applicant: "Rape, murder, arson, and rape." Hedley Lamarr: "You said rape twice." Applicant: "I like rape.")
  • Bart enlisted the aid of black railroad workers to build an exact replica of Rock Ridge, and to lure Taggart and his gang of men to destroy it instead of the real town
  • the absurdist destructive brawl between the good guys and the bad guys abruptly ended - 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
  • the climactic production was of a pseudo-Busby Berkeley musical number ("The French Mistake") in an adjoining set 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 the landmark Grauman Chinese Theatre in Hollywood

Rev. Johnson and Gabby Johnson

Gov. Le Petomane and Miss Stein

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

Bean-Eating Campfire Scene

Lili Von Shtupp (Madeline Kahn)

Buddy Bizarre (Dom DeLuise)


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