1974 brought one of the funniest films ever made by Warner Brothers. It hit the silver screen and made huge waves, which still carries an impact to this day. Here are hidden facts about Blazing Saddles!
Reach For The Sky
Believe it or not, Sheriff Bart was not a popular figure. Amazingly, in order to be let free by the townspeople, he held a gun to his head. Originally, Brooks got this idea from something that happened during his childhood. As a kid, Mel tried stealing a water pistol and a pack of gum from a store. When the clerk tried to stop him, little Mel pointed the “gun” at him, threatening that he would pull the trigger.
Despite how hilarious Mongo’s knockout punch scene was considered, some viewers saw it as inappropriate. Animal rights activists were enraged with the treatment of the horse, despite the fact that in reality, no horses were injured. Still, it was argued that a lesser violent scene could have been made, which would not have made others get any ideas as was suggested in the film. Fortunately, the filmmakers did not have to harm any animals to film the scene, as they had horses trained to fall on command.
Film fanatics will remember the following scene very well: the brutish Mongo parked his horse in a no parking zone, and then was confronted by a fellow horse rider. Mongo then calmly walked over and clobbered the horse, and by doing so, he knocked them both to the ground. Apparently, Brooks did not simply make up this part out of thin air, but rather, it was inspired by a real-life story he once heard from his old boss, Sid Caesar.
For a comedy movie that involved cowboys’ flatulence, some of the actors took their roles very seriously. One of those was Slim Pickens, who wanted to truly be Taggart, the bully gang head who worked tirelessly to terrorize the Rock Ridge citizens from their town. Slim decided to really get in the mindset of his character, he would sleep outside, like a real cowboy. Not only that, he did it with his Winchester right by his side, reminding him always that he is an outlaw.
One of the key details that the writers struggled to agree on was its title. Originally, Ten X was the working title for this movie, and is actually a reference to Malcolm X. However, this ended up being changed to Black Bart. Despite this change, the writers still didn’t like it, considering The Purple Sage as another potential name. Then Brooks was in the shower when he came up with the title Blazing Saddles. His wife loved it, and the rest was history.
Warner Brothers believed that Brooks was capable of recapturing the magic he produced in the movie The Producers. However, upon early viewings, the movie was poorly received and executives from the studios were worried how not funny they found the movie. Nevertheless, Brooks was confident that the movie would do well and that they just needed to unveil it to the masses. Eventually, Warner Brothers agreed to release the movie and they were happily proven wrong based on early reactions.