Blazing Saddles: On June 29, Warner Home Video (WHV) will commemorate the three-decade birthday of the great comedy classic, Blazing Saddles, by releasing a new 30th Anniversary Special Edition DVD featuring additional scenes and 5.1 audio. The unforgettable Mel Brooks comedy, Warner Bros.' most successful ever, is listed as #6 on American Film Institute's (AFI) list of the best comedies of all time-"AFI's 100 Years...100 Laughs." Also on June 29, WHV will debut a second Mel Brooks film on DVD, Dracula: Dead and Loving It.
The new Blazing Saddles DVD will also include Brooks' commentary, a Madeline Kahn featurette, cast reunion documentary, and will feature "Black Bart," the 1975 television pilot inspired by the movie. Both titles will be available for $19.97 SRP.
Blazing Saddles, first released in 1974, grossed nearly $120 million at the domestic box office and has gone on to sell more than 3 million videos and DVDs. The Western film genre spoof is one of Brooks' top commercially successful films, along with Young Frankenstein, also released that same year. Brooks' other film highlights include The Producers, High Anxiety, Silent Movie, History of the World: Part I and To Be or Not to Be.
Mel Brooks is in an elite class with Helen Hayes, John Gielgud, Rita Moreno, Audrey Hepburn, and Marvin Hamlisch as the sixth person to earn all four major entertainment prizes -- the Tony, the Emmy, the Grammy and the Oscar. (Mike Nichols is the seventh).
One of show business's most prolific and creative forces, Brooks entered television during its 'Golden Age,' beginning as a writer for Sid Caesar on "Your Show of Shows" in 1951. In 1955 and 1957, Brooks received Emmy Award nominations (with others) for Best Comedy Writing for "Caesar's Hour" and in 1956, he was nominated (with others) for Best Writing for a Variety or Situation Comedy. He created with Buck Henry the popular satirical spy sitcom, "Get Smart" in 1965. Brooks finally received his first Emmy Award for Outstanding Writing Achievement in Comedy-Variety in 1967 for "The Sid Caesar, Imogene Coca, Carl Reiner, Howard Morris Special." He later earned three Emmys® for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Comedy Series for "Mad About You."
In the '60s, Brooks teamed with Carl Reiner for their best-selling "2000 Year Old Man" comedy album series, which continued in various versions for the next four decades. It's received two Grammy® nominations and one Grammy win.
Brooks' first Oscar came with The Critic, a short satire on avant-garde art films he wrote and narrated, which won the Academy Award for Best Animated Short Subject in 1964. A second Oscar came with The Producers, which brought him the statue for Best Original Screenplay and later became the basis for the current smash hit Broadway play which won Brooks three Tony Awards and two Grammy Awards.
In addition to his other films, Brooks' has produced some of America's most distinguished films under his Brooksfilms Limited banner. Among them are The Elephant Man, The Fly, Frances and 84 Charing Cross Road.
Blazing Saddles stars Cleavon Little as an unlikely sheriff in the town of Rock Ridge, Harvey Korman as the villain, Madeline Kahn as a Marlene Dietrich-style chanteuse, Gene Wilder as the wacko Waco Kid and Brooks himself as a dimwitted politico. Once the lunatic film gets started, logic is lost in a blizzard of gags, jokes, quips, puns and outrageous assaults upon good taste or any taste at all. The film was nominated for three
Academy Awards®-- Supporting Actress for Kahn, Best Editing and Best Song.
DVD extra content includes:
- Additional scenes
- Scene-specific commentary by Mel Brooks
- Back in the Saddle cast/crew reunion documentary
- Intimate Portrait: Madeline Kahn featurette
- Black Bart - 1975 TV pilot inspired by the movie; starring Lou Gossett Jr. and Steve Landesberg
Also on June 29, WHV will debut Mel Brooks' Dracula: Dead and Loving It - a comic reinvention of the Bela Lugosi classic about a Transylvanian vampire who works his evil spell on a perplexed group of Londoners. Directed and co-written by Brooks, who has a starring role as well, the film also features Harvey Korman, Leslie Nielsen, Peter MacNicol, Steven Weber and Amy Yasbeck. There is also a cameo appearance by Brooks' wife, Anne Bancroft.
DVD extra content includes:
- Commentary with Mel Brooks, writers Rudy DeLuca and Steve Haberman and actors Steven Weber and Amy Yasbeck
- Theatrical trailer