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Blazing Saddles (1974)

The movie which made motion picture history by introducing farting to the big screen.

blazingsaddlesRescued from a railroad-gang, Black Bart (Cleavon Little) is appointed sheriff to Rock Ridge by a scheming politician.

The plan is to make the townsfolk so hostile and demoralised that it will be easy to overcome their resistance to selling up and leaving, so that a profitable railroad can be built through their land.

Black Bart finds an unexpected ally in the drunken – but one-time gunslinger legend – Waco Kid (Gene Wilder), and the two come up with a plan to fool the would-be land-stealers and their henchmen by creating a replica cardboard town.

After many wild adventures thy ride off into the sunset – in a limousine (in the film’s finale, the pair accidentally – and anachronistically – gatecrash a film studio where a big musical production number is being filmed).


Gloriously over-the-top moments include the great bean-fart campfire, honky-tonk singer Lili Von Shtupp’s (Madeline Kahn) rendition of a Destry-type Dietrich torch-song complete with the Mae West-aside “is that a ten-gallon hat or are you just enjoying the show?”, and Count Basie and his jazz band playing the film’s score in the middle of the desert.

Hedy Lamarr sued Mel Brooks over the use of the name Hedley Lamarr for the villain. They settled out of court.


The premier was held at the Pickwick Drive-In cinema in California. No cars were allowed – the guests all had to ride in on horseback.

A young Richard Pryor was considered for Cleavon Little’s black sheriff role but was discounted because he was “a known sniffer”.

Cleavon Little
Jim, the Waco Kid
Gene Wilder
Slim Pickens
Hedley Lamarr
Harvey Korman
Lili Von Shtupp
Madeline Kahn
Governor Le Petomane/Indian chief
Mel Brooks
Olson Johnson
David Huddleston
Rev Johnson
Liam Dunn
Alex Karras
Howard Johnson
John Hillerman
Van Johnson
George Furth
Gabby Johnson
Claude E Starrett Jr
Buddy Bizarre
Dom DeLuise
Dr Sam Johnson
Richard Collier
Count Basie
Count Basie
Burton Gilliam

Mel Brooks