Tag Archives: Mel Brooks

Robin Hood: Men in Tights

THE LEGEND HAD IT COMING… Six years after Spaceballs, Mel Brooks returned to his movie spoofs, this time attacking the Robin Hood legend, particularly as seen in the classic Adventures of Robin Hood (1938). Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves (1991) is also an obvious target and Brooks finds plenty of material in other cultural phenomena; … Continue reading Robin Hood: Men in Tights

Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation

FAMILY VACATION. IT WILL SUCK THE LIFE OUT OF YOU.  Mavis books a cruise for Dracula and the whole gang; after reluctantly boarding the ship, the old vampire falls head over heels for its human captain. The third chapter introduces new environs for the gang, which is a good idea. There’s a lot to like … Continue reading Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation

Hotel Transylvania 2

DRAC’S PACK IS BACK. Mavis and Jonathan are raising a little boy, but grandpa Dracula worries about him not growing fangs… The sequel moves a few years into the future and sends the Count and his monster buddies on an adventure (behind Mavis and Jonathan’s backs) to try to bring out the child’s inner vampire. … Continue reading Hotel Transylvania 2

The Muppet Movie

MORE ENTERTAINING THAN HUMANLY POSSIBLE. Kermit, a frog in a Florida swamp, is persuaded by a Hollywood agent to go west and pursue a showbiz career; along the way, he meets friends and finds a dangerous enemy. The beloved felt creatures from The Muppet Show (1976-1981) delivered their first movie, a funny, chaotic meta experience … Continue reading The Muppet Movie

The Twelve Chairs

A WILD AND HILARIOUS CHASE FOR A FORTUNE IN JEWELS.  Shortly after the Russian Revolution, ex-nobleman Ippolit Vorobyaninov (Ron Moody) learns that the family jewels are hidden in a set of twelve chairs that are now scattered all around. This oft-filmed story became director Mel Brooks’s next project after The Producers (1968). Shot in Yugoslavia, … Continue reading The Twelve Chairs

History of the World – Part I

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 … Continue reading History of the World – Part I

The Producers: Springtime for Mel Brooks

HOLLYWOOD NEVER FACED A ZANIER ZERO HOUR! I had not seen this movie, Mel Brooks’s first, for a very long time and was somewhat surprised to discover just how funny it is – and original. Who else would come up with a story as clever and insane as this? Perhaps Brooks found inspiration in his … Continue reading The Producers: Springtime for Mel Brooks

The Producers

Down-on-his-luck Broadway producer Max Bialystock (Nathan Lane) talks a clean-cut accountant (Matthew Broderick) into joining him in a scheme where they will make money from putting on a show guaranteed to fail. This adaptation of the Broadway smash hit was done pretty much the way the play was produced; the original director made it together … Continue reading The Producers

Blazing Saddles: Farting By the Campfire

NEVER GIVE A SAGA AN EVEN BREAK. Most people would say that 1974 was Francis Ford Coppola’s year, as the director delivered not one but two classic films, The Godfather, Part II and The Conversation. However, I would also say that anyone who is too serious-minded to forget about Mel Brooks is truly missing something. This was the … Continue reading Blazing Saddles: Farting By the Campfire


YOU CAN SHINE NO MATTER WHAT YOU’RE MADE OF. A young robot leaves home for Robot City where he hopes to become a successful inventor, but he ends up crossing paths with an evil corporate leader. The man and studio that brought us Ice Age (2002) deliver another entertaining CGI adventure. Ambitiously designed, the environs … Continue reading Robots

Young Frankenstein: No Escaping Destiny

Mel Brooks and the cast and crew allegedly had so much fun making this classic comedy that the director decided to add a few sequences just to keep the production going a bit longer. Watching the final results, I can understand why. This is one of the funniest movies ever made and it is also … Continue reading Young Frankenstein: No Escaping Destiny

High Anxiety

DANGER, INTRIGUE, ROMANCE… AND A TOUCH OF KINKINESS! Richard Thorndyke (Mel Brooks), a famous psychiatrist, is appointed new head of a California sanitarium, but he discovers plenty of secrets there. The director spoofs another genre, this time Hitchcock thrillers. He has assembled a terrific cast, with himself as the doc who becomes a murder suspect, … Continue reading High Anxiety

To Be or Not to Be

THAT IS THE MOVIE! Ernst Lubitsch’s 1942 film with the same title featured a Polish theater ensemble facing its biggest challenge when the Nazis take Warsaw. Some viewers may be surprised to find Mel Brooks involved in this remake, but it’s not really that far-fetched considering his previous efforts to neutralize evil by making fun … Continue reading To Be or Not to Be