September 4, 2016

Blazing Saddles

I've seen this movie many times on VHS, and a few times on widescreen DVD, but it was wonderful to finally see this movie on a big movie screen, and a sold-out theater too! The big screen meant I saw at least a dozen jokes that I had never noticed before on my television set. Also, because I have mostly seen this movie on a VHS tape I taped off of broadcast television in the 1980s, I was surprised at all the swearing. And, I can't say I've seen many movies since then that have so much swearing, tons of raunchiness, and the smashing of racial and sexual taboos left right and center. Is it possible that this mostly white crowd felt okay about ourselves watching super racist people being made fun of? Was this a safe place to make the n-word something we could laugh at? Who the Christ knows. I also noticed that Gene Wilder is actually kind of a supporting player in this movie. He has a couple of memorable iconic scenes, but he's often hovering behind Bart in the movie. See my Miscasting Awards post for more: it still doesn't make any sense that The Waco Kid, a washed-up legendary gunslinger would be played by a man as young as Wilder, but of course, the movie would not be as good without him. (RIP Gene Wilder! AMC Loews Boston Common Screen 16)