The Video Vacuum (thevideovacuum) wrote,
The Video Vacuum

SILENT MOVIE (1976) ** ½

Mel Funn (Mel Brooks) is a washed-up director who wants to make a silent movie as his big comeback picture. The studio chief (Sid Caesar) agrees to let him make the movie, but only if he gets some big name stars in the flick. So Mel, along with his two associates (Dom DeLuise and Marty Feldman) set out to sign stars like Burt Reynolds, James Caan, and Liza Minnelli to appear in their movie.

Silent Movie is a lightweight, middle-of-the-road comedy from Mel Brooks. After the incredible one-two punch of Blazing Saddles and Young Frankenstein, the film comes as something of a letdown. Of course, it’s unfair to compare Silent Movie to those classics, but it’s definitely Mel on an off day.

There are some good gags here though. The scenes of Mel interrupting Burt in the shower and having lunch in Caan’s trailer are pretty funny. And Brooks, Feldman, and DeLuise are fun to watch. But many of the slapstick-heavy jokes (no pun intended) fall flat or go on too long (like most of the scenes involving the villainous Engulf and Devour company). A lot of the jokes are more clever than laugh-out-loud funny, and some wouldn’t have even cut it during the silent days.

You still have to give credit to Mel for trying to make a movie like this in the ‘70s. Mel even puts in many gags revolving around the preposterousness of making such a feature in the (then) modern day. And while the film isn’t Brooks at his best, indiscriminate fans of the man should get some laughs out of it.

Tags: burt reynolds, comedy, mel brooks, s

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