Mel Brooks talks about his life and career in this documentary, originally broadcast on TV as part of the American Masters series.
I was at my library perusing the DVD racks and saw this and thought, Hm…why not?
It’s a 90 minute tribute to Brooks, with him being interviewed and many other people (including Anne Bancroft, in older footage) chipping in about him, and clips from a lot of his works. And it’s really good- he’s funny, honest and self-deprecating. It was really fun to watch, and gave me a whole new appreciation for him.
Now, I think that Mel Brooks is an amazingly funny man. He’s had a long and varied career, and made a lot of movies…but my contention is that only his first four movies: The Producers, The Twelve Chairs, Blazing Saddles and Young Frankenstein, were really funny.
And then I look over his list of movies, and I see When Things Were Rotten, which I remember as one of the funniest TV shows ever, Dick Gautier as Robin Hood and Dick Van Patten as Squire Tuck and hilarity and hijinks…but it’s not available at all, much as I’d love to see it again. (And it turns out that it is available on Amazon, on a Print on Demand DV-R…so I am happy!)
And there’s The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes’ Smarter Brother, which I remember as being pretty funny. Spaceballs? Evidently everyone under 30 thinks it’s the funniest movie ever (Wrong. This is the funniest movie ever.) Robin Hood: Men in Tights? okay, not awesome. History of the World Part I? not at all. And there were a few more in there that I saw over the years, some better than others.
So…yeah, four movies that are brilliant, and a lot of stuff that wasn’t brilliant but certainly had moments. And that’s just the big stuff, he had a hand (or voice, or pen, or directed) a whole lot of other movies and tv episodes as well.
And that’s the thing about this biofilm- it shows Brooks as a well-rounded extremely funny guy and makes you appreciate his movies and humor all over again. It was great, you should watch it. And then watch a bunch of his movies. You’ll be glad you did.