Plagued by studio head jitters over flatulence jokes and the use of the N-word, writer-director Mel Brooks’ western spoof almost arrived in theaters hacked and hewn. Fortunately, with the backing of co-writer Richard Pryor, lead Cleavon Little, and a contract that entitled Brooks to the final cut on his own picture, the world was instead treated to one of the most outrageous, gag-filled comedies ever made. Featuring an all-star cast of top talent, including Harvey Korman, Gene Wilder and Madeline Kahn, Blazing Saddles may not have ridden off with any Oscars (though nominated for three), but still managed to stampede its way into the funny bones of millions. See it again in all its glory on the big screen and no, Lili, this is not a ten gallon hat—we are just happy to see you.
Wed., April 24, 7:30 p.m., 2013