"Blazing Saddles": The Only Non-Western to Rule the West.

Essay by greenhippieHigh School, 11th gradeA+, March 2007

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“Now here we go. Hold your ears, folks. It's SHOWTIME!”— When the small town of Rock Ridge is threatened by the growing railroad, it is up to the atypical “dazzling urbanite” sheriff, Bart, to save the town. In the hilarious parody of all Western films, Mel Brook’s 1974 comedy, Blazing Saddles, has its audience stifling laughter.

The railroad going west is being built, but with bad planning, they must make a new path through quiet Rock Ridge. Fortunately, corrupt State Attorney General Hedley Lamarr (Harvey Korman) has a plan! They’ll run the residents of Rock Ridge out, take the town out from under their feet, and make a fortune off of the land. But how? Of course, they’ll go the typical Western way of terrorizing the town. Unfortunately, that doesn’t drive the people of Rock Ridge away, so how can Lamarr get them to leave? Of course, offend a white racist town in the best way possible; Hire a black sheriff! But the new sheriff, Bart (Cleavon Little) is more intelligent than Lamarr bargained for, so what to do now? In an increasingly tastelessly funny stream of events, Lamarr attempts to drive Sheriff Bart and Rock Ridge out.

With a predictable (and yet unpredictable), comical ending, Sheriff Bart will win the hearts of viewers with his charmingly witty humor.

With the crude humor, one can only hope that it’s all in the name of satire. Although, throughout the film, almost all of the juvenile jokes fall under the category of being racist, sexist, and pretty much anything apolitically-correct, the film seems to be making fun of the crude characters, so its alright to laugh at jokes that would be frowned upon otherwise. Sheriff Bart is the newly appointed black sheriff of Rock Ridge, a small Western town where everybody is...