On the Making of Blazing Saddles 50 Years Ago

The movie Blazing Saddles had its premiere on February 7, 1974, meaning it will be 50 years old tomorrow. It was vulgar and outrageous and crossed the line in so many places that it couldn't be made at all today. Mel Brooks battled producers over many scenes, but he won, mainly by ignoring them. The result was what many people who saw Blazing Saddles that year call the funniest movie ever. Brooks took on the project because he was broke and his wife was pregnant, and he turned a newcomer's script about racism in the Old West into a bizarre comedy that made fun of everything and everyone it touched.

Brooks screened the film and Ted Ashley, the chairman of Warner Brothers, told the director, "The farting scene has to go. You can’t punch a horse. You can’t hit an old lady. And you can’t use the ‘N’ word." If Brooks had followed orders and cut 26 scenes, there would be little movie left. Co-writer Richard Pryor was the one who insisted on using the N word. One area where Brooks bowed to the producers was in dropping Pryor and Gig Young from the lead roles due to substance abuse problems, and struck gold with Cleavon Little and Gene Wilder. Read what went on behind the scenes in creating Blazing Saddles at The Independent. -via Digg

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I still like Young Frankenstein more. But Madeline Kahn's masterpiece turn as Lili Von Schtup is a true classic bit of filming history. Well, that and her "Where are you going? Oh, sure, 5 or 6 quick ones and it's off to boast and brag with the boys. You better keep your mouth shut!" I sure do miss her.
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Memories. And a great read. Count me in the group saying it was the funniest movie ever. But I was only 17 so what did I know? Might not be that today but it's right up there.
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