IN MEL WE TRVST.
One of director Mel Brooks’s slightest comedies is an episodic look at historical events, from the dawn of man to the French Revolution. Misery is a theme; regardless of era and place, there’s always been people suffering, often Jews. As expected, Brooks turns it into comedy, as in the memorable scene where the Inquisition is portrayed as a Broadway show. Harvey Korman and Dom DeLuise are hilarious as a French aristocrat (“Count de Monet”) and a very decadent Nero, but the film as a whole is sloppy and very uneven.
1981-U.S. 92 min. Color. Widescreen. Produced, written and directed by Mel Brooks. Cast: Mel Brooks (Moses/Comicus/Torquemada/Jacques/Louis XVI), Gregory Hines (Josephus), Dom DeLuise (Nero), Madeline Kahn, Harvey Korman, Cloris Leachman… Sid Caesar, Spike Milligan, Barry Levinson. Cameos: Paul Mazursky, Henny Youngman, Hugh Hefner, John Hurt, Jackie Mason, Bea Arthur. Narrated by Orson Welles.
Trivia: Hines’s first film. Richard Pryor was first cast as Josephus, but had to leave the project after setting himself on fire while doing drugs.