SILENT MOVIE—-someone must have thought this was funny. It left me feeling like I’d been embalmed. Mel Brooks and slapstick cronies Marty Feldman and Dom DeLuise try to make a silent film in the 70s (this came out in 1976), despite opposition from the big studios. They recruit guest stars—Burt Reynolds, James Caan, Anne Bancroft, Marcel Marceau, Paul Newman and Liza Minnelli—to get their schticks across.
The results are…silent, with no laugh-noise coming from this viewer. I smiled a few times, and twiddled my thumbs waiting for it to finish. It’s basically a skit idea padded out egotistically to 87 minutes, fast becoming a groaner. Brought in on the cheap for $4,000,000, it made a jolting $36,000,000, I’m assuming because everyone expected the same hilarity that Brooks pulled off with Blazing Saddles and Young Frankenstein. Many reviews were glowing, go figure. Enjoy away, if you’re inclined. With Bernadette Peters, Sid Caesar, Harold Gould, Fritz Feld, Harry Ritz, Ron Carey and Henny Youngman.