Silent Movie

Movie Information

In Brief: Mel Brooks' 1976 silent movie about Mel Brooks (as Mel Funn) signing up stars to appear in his silent movie. Broad slapstick and Borscht Belt comedy that will appeal more to some than others.
Genre: Comedy
Director: Mel Brooks
Starring: Mel Brooks, Marty Feldman, Dom DeLuise, Sid Caesar, Bernadette Peters
Rated: PG

I actually sat through this again for this review. I have no idea why. Maybe I thought it would be better somehow. The yellow Morgan sports car remains the highlight for me. Otherwise, it’s still just Mel Brooks and a bunch of folks who find themselves a lot funnier than I do. I almost considered ammending my original review, but, no. So here it is: “For me a little Mel Brooks goes a long way, and even the smallest amount of Sid Caesar goes way too far, so there’s a chance you’ll find Brooks’ 1976 Silent Movie more palatable than I do. Actually, as a Mel Brooks movie, it’s one of his better works, coming at the end of his brief hot streak that began in 1974 with Blazing Saddles. Since he’d just defied one convention by making Young Frankenstein (1974) in black-and-white, it probably seemed like a great idea to defy another by making exactly what the title declares, a silent movie. So, armed with Marty Feldman and Dom DeLuise as his sidekicks, Mel presents himself as washed-up alcoholic director Mel Funn, who’s out to prove himself by making ‘the first silent movie in 40 years.’ In the process, it’s Brooks’ attempt to prove that slapstick isn’t dead. The problem with this is that there are moments in the film where he nearly kills it by indulging his mugging cast to the hilt.”

Full review here:

The Hendersonville Film Society will show Silent Movie Sunday, Nov. 4 at 2 p.m. in the Smoky Mountain Theater at Lake Pointe Landing Retirement Community (behind Epic Cinemas), 333 Thompson St., Hendersonville.

About Ken Hanke
Head film critic for Mountain Xpress from December 2000 until his death in June 2016. Author of books "Ken Russell's Films," "Charlie Chan at the Movies," "A Critical Guide to Horror Film Series," "Tim Burton: An Unauthorized Biography of the Filmmaker."

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