Review: ‘Silent Movie’

It took a lot of chutzpah for Mel Brooks to make Silent Movie a film with only one word of dialog in an almost non-stop parade of sight gags.

It took a lot of chutzpah for Mel Brooks to make Silent Movie a film with only one word of dialog in an almost non-stop parade of sight gags.

Brooks, Marty Feldman, and Dom DeLuise head the cast as a has-been director and his zany cronies, conning studio chief Sid Caesar into making their silent film as a desperate ploy to prevent takeover of the studio by the Engulf & Devour conglomerate, headed by villainous Harold Gould. The parallels with realities are drolly satiric.

The slender plot of Silent Movie [from a story by Ron Clark] is basically a hook for slapstick antics, some feeble and some very fine (notably a wonderful nightclub tango with Anne Bancroft). Harry Ritz, Charlie Callas, Henny Youngman, and the late Liam Dunn are standouts.

Silent Movie

Production

20th Century-Fox. Director Mel Brooks; Producer Michael Hertzberg; Screenplay Mel Brooks, Ron Clark, Rudy DeLuca, Barry Levinson; Camera Paul Lohmann; Editor John C. Howard, Stanford C. Allen; Music John Morris; Art Director Al Brenner

Crew

(Color) Available on VHS, DVD. Extract of a review from 1976. Running time: 86 MIN.

With

Mel Brooks Marty Feldman Dom DeLuise Bernadette Peters Sid Caesar Harold Gould
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