Remember the days when humanity could laugh at itself? “Blazing Saddles” is a film that takes us all back to a more innocent era, an era in which PC was just a couple of letters stuck together. The script and direction of this movie are so politically incorrect that you sometimes are amazed at how they ever got away with it, but that’s what makes it so much fun to watch.
“Blazing Saddles” will be shown at the Backstage Theatre in Breckenridge on Tuesday, March 18. The Motion Picture Association of America gave the film an R rating upon its release in 1974; it contains crude humor, sexual references and gestures, language and some drug content, but nothing is graphically shown.
“Blazing Saddles” is a comedy within a comedy within a comedy, with an all-star cast of Slim Pickens, Cleavon Little, Gene Wilder and, of course, funny man Mel Brooks. As the plot goes, to ruin a Western town, a corrupt political boss appoints a black sheriff, who promptly becomes his most formidable adversary.
Brooks, who produced, directed, wrote and made a cameo appearance in the film, has said that his lowest common denominator Western spoof “truly broke ground, and it broke wind.” Nominated for Academy awards for Madeline Kahn, as Lily Von Shtupp, and best music for the song “Blazing Saddles,” it will stick with you long after the credits roll.
“Blazing Saddles” aficionado Jon Hans, a frequent actor at the Backstage (most recently in “The 10th,” as Koons the mule skinner) and Summit Stage driver, will introduce the film. Between skinning mules and driving the Stage, he’s 100 percent Wild West.
“It’s funniest with an audience,” said Laurie Rambaud, films coordinator for the Backstage. “A giggle at home becomes a belly laugh with an audience. Join in and spend an evening laughing hysterically.”
April and May at the Backstage will feature Mud Season Madness, with classics from “The Rocky Horror Picture Show” on Tuesday, April 1, and Saturday, April 5 (with a complementary bag of props so you can do the “Time Warp” properly), to modern films in partnership with the Breckenridge Festival of Film. Films include “McConkey” on Thursday, April 3, and Friday, April 4; “Antarctica: A Year on the Ice,” on Thursday, April 10, and Friday, April 11; “We Ride: The Story of Snowboarding,” on Thursday, April 17, and Friday, April 18; plus some of the most interesting films from fests past, scheduled every Thursday and Friday through early June.
Concessions are available for all film screenings, including beer, wine and mixed drinks. For more information about the Classic Film Series, visit www.backstagetheatre.org or call the box office at (970) 453-0199.