Blazing Saddles is another comedy masterpiece from Mel Brooks (with writing help from none other than Richard Pryor) which mercilessly spoofs The Western.Railroad construction runs into quicksand, and the path needs re-routing — but the tiny town of Rock Ridge stands in the way of progress. State Attorney General HedyHedley Lamarr schemes to get his hands on the now-priceless real estate by hiring thugs to kill the sheriff and terrify the locals into leaving. When they don't leave, Lamarr appoints a black man named Bart — awaiting a death sentence for striking a white man — as the new sheriff, a move calculated to result in Bart being killed by the racist townspeople and said townspeople leaving in disgust (which would give Lamarr free rein over the land). Once Bart arrives in Rock Ridge, Hilarity Ensues.Blazing Saddles is completely, offensively, and unapologetically politically incorrect — and it also skewers damn near every western trope listed on this site (and likely a few we haven't thought of yet).
Parodied with the Indian chief, played by Mel Brooks, speaking Yiddish. Averted when Lili Von Shtupp and Bart are speaking German to each other.
This is also a nod to 1.) the tendency of dirty white (e.g., Greek, Jewish, Armenian) actors playing Indians to use their native languages, as did many actual Indians (usually of the wrong tribe), and 2.) the Mormon idea that the American Indians were descendants of the Lost Tribes of Israel.
Bilingual Bonus: On the movie poster (pictured above), the Indian chief played by Mel Brooks has "Kosher for Passover" written in Hebrew on his headdress (but with the letters arranged in such a way as to translate as "Posher for Kassover").
As You Know: "I don't have to tell you people what has been happening to our beloved town"...
Attack Pattern Alpha: With regards at to what to do to Rock Ridge, Taggart gets a Eureka Moment and decides they'll whip up a Number 6 on them, which is that the men go riding into town, a-whomping and woomping every living thing to within an inch of its life, except the women folk (whom they will later rape the shit out of at the subsequent Number 6 dance).
Of course, this dialogue below tells us that things did not go according to plan:
Reverend Johnson: I don't have to tell you people what has been happening to our beloved town: Sheriff murdered, crops burned, stores looted, women stampeded, and cattleraped.
Bait and Switch: "Excuse me while I whip this out." (Bart proceeds to reach for a speech letter in his pocket, while the townsfolk gasp and cower in fear, thinking he's going to whip something else out instead).
Bar Brawl/Bar Slide: During the battle in the Warner Bros. commissary, Taggart slides down the buffet counter.
Batman Gambit: Hedley tries to exploit the fear and racism of the townsfolk of Rock Ridge by sending them a black sheriff, and it almost works. (The only reason why it doesn't work is that "They are so dumb!")
Beam Me Up, Scotty!: "We don't need no stinking badges!" was actually in this movie. The Treasure of the Sierra Madre had the longer "Badges? We ain't got no badges. We don't need no badges. I don't have to show you any stinking badges!"
Breaking the Fourth Wall: At least 8 examples (9 if you count the end fight scene, where they break through the wall of the studio and continue the fight across several sets, culminating in Hedley Lamarr fleeing to Grauman's Chinese Theatre, and dying next to Douglas Fairbanks's footprints).
The final scene in the movie escalates directly to No Fourth Wall, in which The two main characters watch the end of their own movie together at the Chinese Theatre.
Bunny-Ears Lawyer: Hedley could be considered this as he has a fixation on always bathing with his froggy and freaks out when he doesn't.
Cameo: Mel Brooks, in the line of outlaws waiting to join Hedley Lamarr's army. He's either a biker or a WWI airplane pilot. He also appears as the Yiddish-speaking Indian chief, AND Governor William J. LePetomane.
Count Basie's Orchestra shows up in one scene.
Camp Gay: The dancers in "The French Mistake" rehearsal.
Curse Cut Short: Played straight with the page quote. Subverted with the governor; apparently "Can't you see that man is a ni-" is actually what he intended to say. Averted with the dozen or so uncensored utterances of the n-word.
The Waco Kid:What did you expect? "Welcome, sonny"? "Make yourself at home"? "Marry my daughter"? You've got to remember that these are just simple farmers. These are people of the land. The common clay of the new West. You know... morons.
Disproportionate Retribution: Hedley Lamarr shoots Taggart in the foot for using a stupid cliche, along with shooting one of his prospective henchmen for chewing gum and "not bringing enough for everybody".
Frankie Laine's earnest rendition of the opening theme sang came about in part because Mel Brooks never told him the movie was a comedy. Brooks decided to keep Laine in the dark about the true nature of the film, thinking his performance would be better if Laine thought it was an authentic Western.
Even Evil Has Standards: Hedley may be an evil, corrupt, heartless man who hires scum of the earth. But he has no tolerance when a robber comes to sign up, whilst chewing gum, and did not bring enough for everybody.
Evil Laugh: Hedley Lamarr, when he comes up with the idea of sending a black sheriff to Rock Ridge.
Un-evil Laugh: ... When he chokes on the hard candy he's been sucking on.
Executive Meddling: They tried, but since Mel's contract said that he had the final cut on the film, he sat through the meeting, taking careful notes of all the changes that they wanted to make, and then when the meeting was over he tossed his notes in the garbage.
Flash Back: Sheriff Bart's story about how his parents came out West in a covered wagon and dealt with hostile Indians.
Follow the Leader: According to film critic Dave Kehr, this was the first major motion picture to include a fart joke. That fact, assuming it's true, makes it the most influential comic film of all time.
Genre Killer: It was a long time after the release of this film before another serious Western was made.
Getting Crap Past the Radar: Despite the foul language there's one that during the time it was made that would push the movie over the line, and they sneak it in anyway. During "The Great Pie Fight" at the film's climax Hedy (that's HEDLEY!) Lamarr exits the men's room and clearly mouths "What the fuck?" There's also the surname Shtupp, which is Yiddish for "fuck".
As Long as It Sounds Foreign: Averted, TV broadcasts do generally censor Lily's name, resulting in either "Lily Von..." or Waco Kid simply moving his lips silently.
Insurmountable Waist-Height Fence: The villagers of Rock Ridge hold off Hedley's men... by installing a tollbooth. "Somebody's gotta go back and get a shitload of dimes!" Yes, absurd, as the booth is set up in the middle of a stretch of desert, but since Taggart thinks that his boss installed the thing, it actually almost makes sense that he doesn't go around.
Plunger Detonator: Sheriff Bart tries to use one to detonate the explosives in the fake Rock Ridge and blow up the villains, but it doesn't work. The Waco Kid has to set them off with a shot from his revolver.
Proscenium Reveal: Zig-Zagged in the climax, where the action is somehow "real" even though it's shown to be happening on a Hollywood soundstage — and eventually most of the backlot — during the climactic Final Battle.
The farting scene was this at the time. That's the first time farting was depicted on the big screen and it was a big hit. Mel Brooks stated in the DVD commentary that cowboys drinking coffee and eating beans all the time would make the place quickly unlivable.
Road Sign Reversal: The re-edited-for-TV version includes a originally-cut scene like this, when Bart and the Waco Kid are being chased by the villains; the duo come to an arrow-sign mounted on a post, smack it so that it starts spinning in circles, and run on. The villains ride up, wait for the sign to finish spinning, and charge off in the indicated direction.
"NO, GODRUM DAGNABBIT! I SAID THE SHERIFF IS A N-*DONG!*
Done more often in televised versions. For example, censoring out the word 'shit' from the final line of the Ballad of Rock Ridge by having the organist mangle a chord. Since it's pretty obvious what they were going to say, this actually makes the movie funnier.
In particular, in the televised versions of the farting scene, the farting was replaced with the horses neighing. Let me repeat that: they used a sound effects bleep on another sound effect.
Spit Take: The Waco Kid, after Sheriff Bart reads the note from Lili Von Shtupp.
Springtime for Hitler: Lamarr convinces the governor to appoint a random black man as Rock Ridge's new sheriff, in the hopes that the racist townspeople will be so demoralized that they give up and run off. He certainly wasn't counting on the sheriff actually helping them and winning them over.
The Trope Namer is actually referenced slyly in the film, as a few bars of the song are played when we first see Lilly Von Schtupp's name.
Stealth Pun: One of the many Johnsons of Rock Ridge has the unfortunate first name of Anal.
Olson Johnson: What are we made of? Our fathers came across the prairies, fought Indians, fought drought, fought locusts, fought Dix. Remember when Richard Dix came in here and tried to take over this town?
The awful spin-off TV pilot Black Bart ran with that one, naturally.
Stop Helping Me!: At the film's climax, when the Waco Kid is trying to pull off an impossible shot, the priest starts (loudly) praying for God to guide him. Thankfully, the other residents of Rock Ridge shut him up by beating him with their hats.
Brooks wanted John Waynefor the role of Jim. Wayne rejected his offer because the script clashed with his family friendly screen persona, but he also found it to be hilarious and told Brooks he'd be "first in line" to see the movie.
Had Richard Pryor (who contributed to the script) been a more reliable actor and/or not coked out of his mind (Mel Brooks found out the truth of the warnings he'd been given when Pryor called on a day he was supposed to be writing to explain he was actually with a couple of girls in New Jersey), he would have played Bart himself, launching his frequent film partnership with Gene Wilder a couple years before Silver Streak.
Wilder himself was a last-minute replacement for Gig Young, who turned up on the set too inebriated to act.
He was also a replacement for Dan Dailey, who was originally considered for the role of the Waco Kid but poor health and declining eyesight forced him to decline, as well as a Hawaiian actor who got cold feet.
When The Clock Stikes Twelve: Sheriff Bart tells his friend to bring his fellow railway workers and a load of equipment to a specific spot at midnight.