(aka "Mel Brooks' Blazing Saddles" or " Der wilde wilde Westen")

 

directed by Mel Brooks
USA 1974

 

The highest grossing western of all times and one of the greatest comedies of all times, “Blazing Saddles” was originally dammed by critics. Brooks was a rebel, attacking conventions, especially the hypocrisy surrounding sexuality and “bodily functions”, but also the political correctness, which, in Brooks eyes, was censorship by shame, a point of view he shared with Lenny Bruce.

His first film, Brooks showed two dots on screen while he with thick Jewish accent delivered a voice over of a Jewish reviewer who could make Freud faint and his second film, his first feature film, “The Producers”, which won the Oscar for original script, including the most flaming gay ever on screen and dancing Nazis. Brooks would later tell Les Keyser, “I just about got it all out of me… all my furor, my frenzy, my insanity…”

In “Blazing Saddles”, Brooks thus made the hero a black sheriff, even used the word “nigger” over and over, and had cowboys fart for several minutes (first onscreen fart ever). This was not elements which pleased those “who understood art”. Judy Christ would review the film with, “A surfeit of chaos and a scarcity of comedy” and Jan Dawson (from “Sight and Sound”) wrote, “one suspects the films disintegration derives from the filmmakers inability to stop laughing at his own jokes.” It would take almost a decade before Mel Brooks was recognized as one of the most genial comic minds of our times; by then Brooks was running out of ideas and originality, his comedy had become so recognizable that he just repeated its structures.

Today, “Blazing Saddles” is part of a group of three films by Mel Brooks, which changed the face of comedy and are considered amongst the funniest films ever made: “The Producers”, “Blazing Saddles” and “Young Frankenstein”.

As a trivial note: The films cinematographer is Joseph Biroc, who also shot Capra’s “It’s a wonderful life” and Fuller’s “Forty Guns”.

Henrik Sylow

Posters

Theatrical Release: February 7, 1974

Reviews    More Reviews  DVD Reviews

DVD Comparison:

Warner Home Video - Region 1 - NTSC vs. Sandrew Metronome (30th Anniversary Special Edition) - Region 2 - PAL

Big thanks to Henrik Sylow for the Warner Home Video Screen Caps!

(Warner Home Video - Region 1 - NTSC - LEFT vs. Sandrew Metronome (30th Anniversary Special Edition) - Region 2 - PAL - RIGHT)

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Distribution

Warner Home Video

Region 1 - NTSC

Sandrew Metronome
Region 2 - PAL
Runtime 1:32:43 1:29:04 (4% PAL speedup)
Video

2.35:1 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 6.30 mb/s
NTSC 704x480 29.97 f/s

2.35:1 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 6.35 mb/s
PAL 720x576 25.00 f/s

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate:

Warner Home Video

.

Bitrate:

Sandrew Metronome (30th Anniversary Special Edition)

 

Audio 1.0 Dolby Digital Monaural English

5.1 Dobly Digital English, 1.0 Dolby Digital Monaural German, 1.0 Dolby Digital Monaural Italian

Subtitles English, French, Spanish, None English, German, Italian, Dutch, Portoguese, Danish, Swedish, Norwegian, Finnish, Hebrew, Croatian, Slovenian, Czech, Greek, Hungarian, Turkish, Arabi
Features Release Information:
Studio: Warner Home Video

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen letterboxed - 2.35:1

Edition Details:
• Audio commentary by Mel Brooks (interview running aprx 55 minutes)
• ...
• Side A 2.35:1 (16x9)
• side B 1.33:1 (pan/scan)

DVD Release Date: 1997
WB case

Chapters 25

Release Information:
Studio: Sandrew Metronome

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen letterboxed - 2.35:1

Edition Details:
• Audio commentary by Mel Brooks (interview running aprx 55 minutes)
• Cast/Crew Reunion documentary: 'Back in the saddle' (28:23)
• Excerpt of 'Intimate Protrait: Madelaine Kahn' (3:42)
• TV-Pilot: 'Black Bart' (24_38)
• Additional scenes (9:41)
• Theatrically trailer (2:12)

DVD Release Date: June 22, 2004
Keep Case

Chapters 26

Comments

Perhaps not as needed, “Blazing Saddles” still needed a caring hand and this remaster by WB is as usual par excellent. The new SE has a more soft picture (a despeckel in Photoshop will give a similar result) and is yellow-ish to the natural colour of the 1997 DVD, so where Bart’s costume seem pink (or washed out red) in the 1997 DVD, its now brown.

The sound on the 1997 DVD was original mono. This track has been replaced with a remastered 5.1 Dolby Digital track. The new track really lifts the film and sounds great. One should critic the absence of the original mono track.

Warner also remastered the 55 minute commentary by Brooks, which also was on the 1997 DVD. Where it used to be hard to hear and below the films DB, its not on par and very easy to hear. It is a great commentary.

Continuing the additional material is a half hour long pretty good reunion documentary, lots of anecdotes not covered in the commentary. Skipping a few minutes about Madelaine Kahn, there are several additional scenes, many of which were covered by the documentary.

The only really superb piece of additional material is the TV-pilot of "Black Bart". In real life a stagecoach robber, but here a spin-off of Sheriff Bart, starring Lou Gossett as Bart. Its incredible unfunny with lots of canned laughter. Priceless.

The 1997 DVD is a flipside, where side A has the film presented in OAR of 2.35:1 (16x9) and on side B has the film in pan/scan full screen. The 2004 SE is a remastered DVD9 version of the 1997 DVD5 using the surplus of storage to better sound and additional material. The subtitles on the R2 are the same as on their 2000 release.

A personal note should be, that the menues on the SE is below standard of today. There has been put little effort and thought into making them.

 - Henrik Sylow

 





DVD Menus

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Warner Home Video - Region 1 - NTSC - LEFT vs. Sandrew Metronome (30th Anniversary Special Edition) - Region 2 - PAL - RIGHT)

 

 

 


 

Screen Captures

(Warner Home Video - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP vs. Sandrew Metronome (30th Anniversary Special Edition) - Region 2 - PAL - BOTTOM)


 

 


(Warner Home Video - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP vs. Sandrew Metronome (30th Anniversary Special Edition) - Region 2 - PAL - BOTTOM)

 

 


 

(Warner Home Video - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP vs. Sandrew Metronome (30th Anniversary Special Edition) - Region 2 - PAL - BOTTOM)

 

 

 


(Warner Home Video - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP vs. Sandrew Metronome (30th Anniversary Special Edition) - Region 2 - PAL - MIDDLE, Warner Home Video PAN AND SCAN - Region 1 - NTSC - BOTTOM)

 

 


 

(Warner Home Video - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP vs. Sandrew Metronome (30th Anniversary Special Edition) - Region 2 - PAL - BOTTOM)

 

 

 


(Warner Home Video - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP vs. Sandrew Metronome (30th Anniversary Special Edition) - Region 2 - PAL - BOTTOM)

 

 


 

(Warner Home Video - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP vs. Sandrew Metronome (30th Anniversary Special Edition) - Region 2 - PAL - BOTTOM)

 

 

 


 

 

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30th Anniversary SE

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30th Anniversary SE

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