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Rating: 4.4 / 5.0 (441 votes)

Released: 2009-12-15

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The Mel Brooks Collection [Blu-ray] by 20th Century Fox

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Movie Details

Studio
20th Century Fox
Runtime
871
Rated
Unrated
Binding
Blu-ray


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Description

Disc 1: Blazing Saddles Blu-ray
The railroad's got to run through the town of Rock Ridge. How do you drive out the townfolk in order to steal their land? Send in the toughest gang you've got…and name a new sheriff who'll last about 24 hours. But that's not really the plot of Blazing Saddles, just the pretext. Once Mel Brooks' lunatic film – many call it his best – gets started, logic is lost in a blizzard of gags, jokes, quips, puns, howlers, growlers and outrageous assaults upon good taste or any taste at all. Cleavon Little as the new lawman, Gene Wilder as the wacko Waco Kid, Brooks himself as a dim-witted politico and Madeline Kahn in her Marlene Dietrich send-up that earned an Academy Award nomination all give this sagebrush saga their lunatic best. And when Blazing Saddles can't contain itself at the finale, it just proves the Old West will never be the same!

Disc 2: Spaceballs Blu-ray
Mel Brooks's 1987 parody of the Star Wars trilogy is a jumble of jokes rather than a comic feature, and, predictably, some of those jokes work better than others. The cast, including Brooks in two roles, more or less mimics the principal characters from George Lucas's famous story line, and the director certainly gets a boost from new allies (SCTV graduates Rick Moranis and John Candy) as well as old ones (Dick Van Patten, Dom DeLuise). Watch this and wait for the sporadic inspiration–but don't be surprised if you find yourself yearning for those years when Brooks was a more complete filmmaker (Young Frankenstein). –Tom Keogh

Disc 3: Young Frankenstein Blu-ray
Mel Brooks' monstrously crazy tribute to Mary Shelley's classic pokes hilarious fun at just about every Frankenstein movie ever made. Summoned by a will to his late grandfather's castle in Transylvania, young Dr. Frankenstein (Gene Wilder) soon discovers the scientist's step-by-step manual explaining how to bring a corpse to life. Assisted by the hunchback Igor (Marty Feldman) and the curvaceous Ings (Teri Garr), he creates a monster (Peter Boyle) who only wants to be loved.

Disc 4: High Anxiety Blu-ray
Mel Brooks' renowned spoof of the most famous Hitchcockian classics-”Vertigo,” “The Birds,” “Psycho” and “Spellbound”-is one of his most outrageous comedy classics. After a Harvard psychiatrist (Brooks) takes over the Psycho-Neurotic Institute for the Very, Very Nervous, he realizes his predecessor died under suspicious circumstances. When events take a murderous turn, he is accused of the crime and left with a full blown case of High Anxiety. Madeline Kahn, Harvey Korman and Cloris Leachman co-star in this hilarious parody.

Disc 5: History Of The World Part 1 Blu-ray
Mel Brooks' uproarious version of history proves nothing is sacred as he takes us on a laugh-filled look at what really happened throughout time. His delirious romp features everything from a wild send-up of “2001″ to the real stories behind the Roman Empire (Brooks portrays a stand-up philosopher at Caesar's Palace), the French Revolution (Brooks reigns as King Louis XVI) and the Spanish Inquisition (a splashy song-and-dance number with monks and swimming nuns.) It's Mel and company at their hilarious best.

Disc 6: Robin Hood Men In Tights Blu-ray
Cary Elwes stars as Robin Hood, the dashing defender of the down-trodden, who along with his merry men and Maid Marion, resides in Sherwood Forest. There they have become together to fight against the seriously neurotic Prince John, the not quite-evil Sheriff of Rottingham, and the mad scorceress Latrine.

Disc 7: Silent Movie Blu-ray
Mel Brooks, Dom Deluise and Marty Feldman pay affectionate, hilarious tribute to Hollywood's Silent Era in this classic parody of the movie business. Attempting to save his studio from the conglomerate “Engulf and Devour,” a has-been movie director (Brooks) casts some of the hottest movie stars in town (all of whom spoof themselves) in one huge blockbuster film.

Disc 8: To Be Or Not To Be Blu-ray
Remake of the 1942 classic black comedy about two Polish actors whose dramatic skills are put to the test when they become involved with invading Nazi troops.

Disc 9: Twelve Chairs Blu-ray
Set in 1920's Russia, this much-loved, hilarious Mel Brooks comedy classic is the tale of a former aristocrat (Ron Moody) who is now a Russian clerk under the new Soviet regime. When he learns that his dying mother-in-law sewed a fortune of family jewels into one of the twelve dining room chairs, he sets off across Russia to find it, with an opportunist (Frank Langella), priest (Dom DeLuise) and his former servant (Mel Brooks) all in equal pursuit.

Actors

  • Mel Brooks

Format

  • AC-3
  • Color
  • Dolby
  • DTS Surround Sound
  • Dubbed

Editorial Review

Review of Blazing Saddles Blu-ray
Mel Brooks scored his first commercial hit with this raucous Western spoof starring the late Cleavon Little as the newly hired (and conspicuously black) sheriff of Rock Ridge. Sheriff Bart teams up with deputy Jim (Gene Wilder) to foil the railroad-building scheme of the nefarious Hedley Lamarr (Harvey Korman). The simple plot is just an excuse for a steady stream of gags, many of them unabashedly tasteless, that Brooks and his wacky cast pull off with side-splitting success. The humor is so juvenile and crude that you just have to surrender to it; highlights abound, from the lunkheaded Alex Karras as the ox-riding Mongo to Madeline Kahn's uproarious send-up of Marlene Dietrich as saloon songstress Lili Von Shtupp. Adding to the comedic excess is the infamous campfire scene involving a bunch of hungry cowboys, heaping servings of baked beans and, well, you get the idea. –Jeff Shannon

Review of Spaceballs Blu-ray
Mel Brooks's 1987 parody of the Star Wars trilogy is a jumble of jokes rather than a comic feature, and, predictably, some of those jokes work better than others. The cast, including Brooks in two roles, more or less mimics the principal characters from George Lucas's famous story line, and the director certainly gets a boost from new allies (SCTV graduates Rick Moranis and John Candy) as well as old ones (Dick Van Patten, Dom DeLuise). Watch this and wait for the sporadic inspiration–but don't be surprised if you find yourself yearning for those years when Brooks was a more complete filmmaker (Young Frankenstein). –Tom Keogh

Review of Young Frankenstein Blu-ray
If you were to argue that Mel Brooks's Young Frankenstein ranks among the top-ten funniest movies of all time, nobody could reasonably dispute the claim. Spoofing classic horror in the way that Brooks's previous film Blazing Saddles sent up classic Westerns, the movie is both a loving tribute and a raucous, irreverent parody of Universal's classic horror films Frankenstein (1931) and Bride of Frankenstein (1935). Filming in glorious black and white, Brooks re-created the Frankenstein laboratory using the same equipment from the original Frankenstein (courtesy of designer Kenneth Strickfaden), and this loving attention to physical and stylistic detail creates a solid foundation for nonstop comedy. The story, of course, involves Frederick Frankenstein (Gene Wilder) and his effort to resume experiments in re-animation pioneered by his late father. (He's got some help, since dad left behind a book titled How I Did It.) Assisting him is the hapless hunchback Igor (Marty Feldman) and the buxom but none-too-bright maiden Inga (Teri Garr), and when Frankenstein succeeds in creating his monster (Peter Boyle), the stage is set for an outrageous revision of the Frankenstein legend. With comedy highlights too numerous to mention, Brooks guides his brilliant cast (also including Cloris Leachman, Madeline Kahn, Kenneth Mars, and Gene Hackman in a classic cameo role) through scene after scene of inspired hilarity. Indeed, Young Frankenstein is a charmed film, nothing less than a comedy classic, representing the finest work from everyone involved. Not one joke has lost its payoff, and none of the countless gags have lost their zany appeal. From a career that includes some of the best comedies ever made, this is the film for which Mel Brooks will be most fondly remembered. Befitting a classic, the Special Edition DVD includes audio commentary by Mel Brooks, a “making of” documentary, interviews with the cast, hilarious bloopers and outtakes, and the original theatrical trailers. No video library should be without a copy of Young Frankenstein. And just remember–that's Fronkensteen. –Jeff Shannon

Review of High Anxiety Blu-ray
An affectionate homage more than a spoof of Alfred Hitchcock thrillers, Mel Brooks's hilarious movie is one of the funniest modern comedies around. Brooks plays a psychiatrist with a severe fear of heights who moves to the Bay Area to take over a psychiatric hospital after its former head mysteriously disappears. He must contend with the resident psychiatrist (Harvey Korman) and the twisted resident nurse (Cloris Leachman) as they plot against him, eventually framing him for murder. While on the run, Brooks teams up with the alluring daughter (Madeline Kahn) of the missing doctor to solve the mystery and confront his own fears. Containing some classic sequences and cowritten by Barry Levinson (Rain Man, Wag the Dog), who appears briefly as a too-touchy bellhop in a Psycho-shower-scene takeoff, High Anxiety is a thoroughly enjoyable romp from one of the masters of comedy today. –Robert Lane

Review of History Of The World Part 1 Blu-ray
Mel Brooks's 1981, three-part comedy–set in the Stone Age, the Roman Empire, and the French Revolution–is pure guilty pleasure. Narrated by Orson Welles and featuring a lot of famous faces in guest appearances (beyond the official cast), the film opens well with Sid Caesar playing a caveman, then moves along to the unlikely but somehow hilarious juxtaposition of Caesar's soldiers (the other Caesar, not Sid) with pot humor, and ends on a dumb-funny note in the French bloodbath. This is a take-it-or-leave-it movie, and it works best if you're in a take-it-or-leave-it mood. –Tom Keogh

Review of Robin Hood Men In Tights Blu-ray
It's not Blazing Saddles, but there are some chuckles to be found in Mel Brooks's 1993 spoof of the Robin Hood legend. Cary Elwes is Robin (with a lighthearted jab at Kevin Costner's bad English accent in Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves), while Richard Lewis plays an angst-ridden King John, and Roger Rees a snotty Sheriff of Nottingham. Comic David Chappelle has some good moments as the only black member of Robins's noble thieves, and Brooks does his own spin on Friar Tuck: Rabbi Tuchman. The song-and-dance sequences featuring a chorus line of the Merry Men (“We're men / men in tights”) is vintage Brooks, but otherwise the film can't get any traction. –Tom Keogh

Review of Silent Movie Blu-ray
One of Mel Brooks's weaker vehicles, this 1976 feature finds a movie producer (Brooks) deciding that the public is ready for the silent film form again. Reasonably ambitious and promising, the film ultimately doesn't do for silent cinema what Brooks did for atmospheric horror (by reviving it while parodying it) in Young Frankenstein. Lots of famous faces pass through Silent Movie, to varying effect. Perhaps the best joke in the movie is the one performer who actually has a line of dialogue: mime Marcel Marceau. –Tom Keogh

Review of To Be Or Not To Be Blu-ray
No filmmaker seems to take such glee at poking fun of the Nazis as Mel Brooks. In To Be or Not to Be, a remake of a 1942 Jack Benny comedy, Brooks and an all-star ensemble cast have a splendid time working as a makeshift Polish underground in World War II, using as their cover their theatrical company. Brooks stars as Frederick Bronski, a legend-in-his-own-mind leading man, and Anne Bancroft, Brooks' real-life wife, is his glamorous–and amorous–spouse. It's a joy to see the two spar, snuggle, and softshoe together. Bancroft, in her early '50s, is so gorgeous and seductive it's perfectly believable that she's beguiling to men of all ages–from a hunky young flier played by Tim Matheson to a wizened Nazi collaborator played by Mel Ferrer. As one would expect in a Brooks film, there's lots of silliness, but the script is leavened with real drama and fleshed out by a superb cast, including Charles Durning as a semi-clueless Nazi official. There are witty blink-and-you'll-miss-them moments, too; early in the film, Bronski is barking orders to his theater staff, including one crew member who's named Sondheim, apparently solely so that later Bronski can bark, “Sondheim, send in the clowns!” Also not to miss is the production number “Naughty Nazis,” in which Bronski, as a misunderstood Hitler, sings, “All I vant is peace… a little piece of Poland, a little piece of France….” No wonder he's “world famous in Poland”! Extras include a behind-the-scenes making-of featurette, and interviews with Brooks, Durning, and the lovely Bancroft, all the more bittersweet viewed after her 2005 death. –A.T. Hurley

Review of Twelve Chairs Blu-ray
Mel Brooks's 1970 comedy (his second work as a film director) is based on an old Russian folktale, and was first filmed in Yugoslavia in 1927. The story concerns an old woman who reveals on her deathbed that she has hidden jewels inside one of 12 chairs that were formerly in her home but are now scattered. Ron Moody plays the poor Russian nobleman seeking them, and Dom DeLuise is his rival. After Brooks's wild and even controversial first film, The Producers, The Twelve Chairs seems relatively tame; but it is still a funny and slightly exotic work owing to its director's longtime interest in classic cinema. –Tom Keogh

More Details

Binding
Blu-ray
Aspect Ratio
1.85:1
Disks
9

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