SPACEBALLS
1987, MGM/Park Circus, 96 min, USA, Dir: Mel Brooks

“May the schwartz be with you.” Bill Pullman, John Candy and Rick Moranis head up the cast in Mel Brooks' hilarious riff on STAR WARS, which is as much a satire on that movie's impact on the film industry (with particularly sly jabs at corporate merchandising) as it is on STAR WARS itself. Brooks is a riot in two roles (including the Yoda-inspired "Yoghurt"), with diminutive Rick Moranis marching around as “Dark Helmet,” Dom DeLuise voicing the pepperoni-and-cheese blob Pizza the Hut, and Daphne Zuniga rounds out the cast in the Princess Leia part (here, Princess Vespa).


THE PRODUCERS
1968, Rialto Pictures, 88 min, USA, Dir: Mel Brooks

Mel Brooks’ directorial debut is one of his finest, and it won him the Oscar for Best Original Screenplay. This outrageous look at two Broadway producers - conniving con man Zero Mostel and sheepish, going-along-for-the-ride Gene Wilder (nominated for Best Supporting Actor) - deciding to get rich by selling shares in what they believe will be a guaranteed flop is certainly one of the funniest comedies of the 1960s. The pair’s production “Springtime for Hitler” (“Don’t be stupid, be a smarty! Come and join the Nazi party!”) inadvertently becomes a so-bad-it’s-good hit, and their grandiose designs on big-time wealth comically crumble. Watch for Dick Shawn as acid-casualty actor LSD, who becomes a surprise star as the jive-talking Führer, and Kenneth Mars as the humorless, ex-German soldier playwright.


YOUNG FRANKENSTEIN
1974, 20th Century Fox, 105 min, USA, Dir: Mel Brooks

Director Mel Brooks’ hilariously abby-normal homage to 1930s monster movies - one of the strangest, funniest, most brilliantly conceived comedies since the heyday of the Marx Bros. Gene Wilder (who co-wrote the script) stars as Dr. Frankenstein ("That’s Frahnk-en-steen"), grandson of the famed mad scientist, struggling to breathe life into tap-dancing monster Peter Boyle with demented help from hunchback assistant Marty Feldman, lusty Teri Garr, neurotic girlfriend Madeline Kahn and Frau Blucher herself, Cloris Leachman. Kenneth Mars is outlandishly memorable as one-eyed, one-armed German Inspector Kemp, “ze leader of zis community!” "The biggest problem we had in doing YOUNG FRANKENSTEIN was that we had to do so many takes because we couldn't stop laughing." - Teri Garr.


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