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|Robin Hood: Men In Tights [HD]
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|Blazing Saddles (30th Anniversary Special Edition)
Lowest new price: $2.78
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List price: $5.98
Brand: Warner Home Video
The railroad's got to run through the town of Rock Ridge. How do you drive out the townfolk in order to steal their land? Send in the toughest gang you've got...and name a new sheriff who'll last about 24 hours. But that's not really the plot of Blazing Saddles, just the pretext. Once Mel Brooks' lunatic film many call his best gets started, logic is lost in a blizzard of gags, jokes, quips, puns, howlers, growlers and outrageous assaults upon good taste or any taste at all. Cleavon Little as the new lawman, Gene Wilder as the wacko Waco Kid, Brooks himself as a dim-witted politico and Madeline Kahn in her Marlene Dietrich send-up that earned an Academy Award nomination all give this sagebrush saga their lunatic best. And when Blazing Saddles can't contain itself at the finale, it just proves the Old West will never be the same!
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|The Mel Brooks Collection (Blazing Saddles / Young Frankenstein / Silent Movie / Robin Hood: Men in Tights / To Be or Not to Be / History of the World, Part 1 / The Twelve Chairs / High Anxiety)
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List price: $59.98
Brand: 20TH Century Fox
This 8 disc boxset includes Blazing Saddles, High Anxiety, History of the World Part I, Robinhood Men in Tights, Silent Movie, To Be or Not to Be, Twelve Chairs, Young Frankenstein.
There are plenty of belly laughs in The Mel Brooks Collection, an eight-disc set of most of the director-writer-actor's best-known films. Four of them--Silent Movie, High Anxiety, To Be or Not to Be, and Robin Hood: Men with Tights--are making their debut on DVD, while a fifth, The Twelve Chairs, was briefly available as a non-anamorphic DVD from Image Entertainment (all the DVDs in this set are anamorphically enhanced for widescreen TVs). That means you can sample a 23-year stretch of Brooks's outrageous and affectionate spoofing of everything from movies to popular legends to movies to historical figures to, hey! more movies.
The earliest film, The Twelve Chairs (1970), is the least known, but is one of the funniest, helped greatly by a good story (adapted from a 1920s Russian tale) and the casting of Ron Moody and Frank Langella as treasure hunters. Young Frankenstein and Blazing Saddles followed in 1974. The former, a spoof of horror films, is easily one of the top two or three funniest movies of all time, and the latter is justly famous for its often-tasteless send-up of Western cliches. Silent Movie (1976) is just what the title describes, with its only word of dialogue spoken from the least-likely source, and High Anxiety (1977) pays tribute to the work of Alfred Hitchcock. History of the World, Part 1 (1981) mocks historical events and epics, and To Be or Not to Be (1983) is a remake of Ernst Lubitsch's 1942 classic of the same name (it's also the only film in the set for which Brooks didn't receive writing and directing credit). By this time, Brooks was more actively taking the leading roles himself (rather than the bit parts), and unfortunately relying less on his topnotch ensemble of recurring players, which included Gene Wilder, Madeline Kahn, Cloris Leachman, Harvey Korman, and Dom DeLuise. But he does use a new ensemble (including Cary Elwes and, in his film debut, Dave Chappelle), for Robin Hood: Men in Tights (1993), the feature-length spin on the same hero Brooks had spoofed in his short-lived 1975 television series When Things Were Rotten.
Bonus features are minor. In addition to an HBO featurette on Men in Tights, there's a featurette and interviews on To Be or Not to Be and all the features (Brooks commentary, deleted scenes, interviews, etc.) that were on the original release of Young Frankenstein. Note that while rights issues kept The Producers, Spaceballs, and other films out of this set, 20th Century Fox was able to use Warner Bros.' Blazing Saddles. The features on that disc, however, are the ones that were on the 1997 DVD release, not the 2004 anniversary reissue. Regardless, the set's price for this many films is low, and because it has so many films new to DVD, Brooks fans will want to pick this up faster than they can say... "Frau Blücher!" --David Horiuchi
|Robin Hood - Men in Tights
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List price: $14.98
Cary Elwes stars as Robin Hood, the dashing defender of the down-trodden, who along with his merry men and Maid Marion, resides in Sherwood Forest. There they have become together to fight against the seriously neurotic Prince John, the not quite-evil Sheriff of Rottingham, and the mad scorceress Latrine.
|Young Frankenstein [Blu-ray]
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List price: $24.99
Absurd Dr. Frankenstein visits the family castle in Transylvania and makes a monster. Directed by Mel Brooks.
|Dracula - Dead and Loving It
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Brand: Warner Home Video
A comic reinvention of the Bela Lugosi classic about a Transylvanian vampire who works his evil spell on a perplexed group of Londoners. Mel Brooks's Count is a pratfalling evil prince of a guy who believes in long relationships. Brooks portrays vampire hunter Van Helsing, who won't give a bloodsucker an even break.
Audio Commentary:Commentary by director/co-writer Mel Brooks, co-stars Steven Weber and Amy Yasbeck, and co-writers Rudy De Luca and Steve Haberman
In 1995, it was promising to hear that Mel Brooks was creating "the companion piece to Young Frankenstein." He had also brought in the heavyweight of deadpan--Leslie Nielsen. As Lt. Frank Drebin in the Police Squad movies, Nielsen has no peer for silly stuff--just the player Brooks would seem to need for a strong movie, as any fan of Brooks perpetually hopes a new film may rekindle his madcap magic. Alas, the end results in Dracula: Dead and Loving It include a sprinkling of amusements and one big belly laugh. Brooks and his writers use a very tight adaptation of Bram Stoker's novel, but the spoofs can be spelled out as we go, as if they are paint-by-number. Some are jabs at Coppola's version of Dracula, but most are attached to classic Dracula films. If any real pleasure comes from the movie it's thanks to the efforts of the cast. Peter MacNicol plays the crazed Renfield to the letter, Steven Weber has a good time as the tight British Harkin, and Lysette Anthony charms as the doomed Lucy. Brooks and Nielsen ham it up just fine. There's even a surprisingly controlled performance by Harvey Korman (a character spoofing Anthony Hopkins's role in the misfire The Road to Wellville). As with Brooks's period comedies, the film looks better than it needs to and includes a few tricky special effects for good measure. This has nothing to do with the audience laughing--we need bigger jokes. And when you double over laughing in one scene--involving a stake through the heart and a bucket of blood--you want the movie to achieve Brooks's days of glory, when hearty laughter was the norm, not an isolated moment. --Doug Thomas
- A comic reinvention of the Bela Lugosiic about a Transylvanian vampire who works his evil spell on a perplexed group of Londoners. Mel Brooks's Count is a pratfalling evil prince of a guy who believes in long relationships. Brooks portrays vampire hunter Van Helsing, who won't give a bloodsucker an even break.Running Time: 90 min. Format: DVD MOVIE Genre: COMEDY Rating: PG-13 Ag
|Blazing Saddles [Blu-ray]
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List price: $14.97
Brand: Warner Home Video
The railroad's got to run through the town of Rock Ridge. How do you drive out the townfolk in order to steal their land? Send in the toughest gang you've got...and name a new sheriff who'll last about 24 hours. But that's not really the plot of Blazing Saddles, just the pretext. Once Mel Brooks' lunatic film - many call it his best - gets started, logic is lost in a blizzard of gags, jokes, quips, puns, howlers, growlers and outrageous assaults upon good taste or any taste at all. Cleavon Little as the new lawman, Gene Wilder as the wacko Waco Kid, Brooks himself as a dim-witted politico and Madeline Kahn in her Marlene Dietrich send-up that earned an Academy Award nomination all give this sagebrush saga their lunatic best. And when Blazing Saddles can't contain itself at the finale, it just proves the Old West will never be the same!
Mel Brooks scored his first commercial hit with this raucous Western spoof starring the late Cleavon Little as the newly hired (and conspicuously black) sheriff of Rock Ridge. Sheriff Bart teams up with deputy Jim (Gene Wilder) to foil the railroad-building scheme of the nefarious Hedley Lamarr (Harvey Korman). The simple plot is just an excuse for a steady stream of gags, many of them unabashedly tasteless, that Brooks and his wacky cast pull off with side-splitting success. The humor is so juvenile and crude that you just have to surrender to it; highlights abound, from the lunkheaded Alex Karras as the ox-riding Mongo to Madeline Kahn's uproarious send-up of Marlene Dietrich as saloon songstress Lili Von Shtupp. Adding to the comedic excess is the infamous campfire scene involving a bunch of hungry cowboys, heaping servings of baked beans and, well, you get the idea. --Jeff Shannon
- The railroad's got to run through the town of Rock Ridge. How do you drive out the townfolk in order to steal their land? Send in the toughest gang you've got.and name a new sheriff who'll last about 24 hours.But that's not really the plot of Blazing Saddles, just the pretext. Once Mel Brooks' lunatic film many call his best gets started, logic is lost in a blizzard of gags, jokes, quips, puns, h
|The Producers (Deluxe Edition)
Lowest new price: $3.47
Lowest used price: $2.56
List price: $19.98
A "startling, stunning, outrageous [and] breathtaking debut" (Los Angeles Times) from acclaimed writer/director Mel Brooks (Young Frankenstein, Spaceballs), this Oscar®-winning* comedy combines "pure pell-Mel lunacy [and] wild, ad-lib energy [into an] uproariously funny" (Time) film! Low-rent Broadway producer Max Bialystock (Zero Mostel) and his high-strung accountant, Leo Bloom (Gene Wilder), discover that, with the help of a few gullible investors, they can make more money on a flop than on a hit! Armed with the worst show ever written ("Springtime for Hitler") and an equally horrific cast, this double-dealing duo is banking on disaster. But when their sure-to-offend musical becomes a surprise smash hit, they find themselves in the middleof a Broadway blitzkrieg! *1968: Original Screenplay
- The Making of the Producers Documentary.
- Sketch Gallery.
- Playhouse Outtake.
- Photo Gallery.
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