211 Great Directors: Mel Brooks

“I cut my finger. That’s tragedy. A man walks into an open sewer and dies. That’s comedy.”


What Got This Director Here?
: His 1974 work and The Producers.

My Favorite Past Experience Was…: The Producers, probably.

What Did I Watch: Spaceballs, which I’d technically seen back at a sleepover party in kindergarten.

Where Does He Fit: Spaceballs has a reputation as one of the better Mel Brooks movies, and I have no idea why. Star Wars itself isn’t as funny as some people like to claim, so it’s fitting that the best gags here are mocking the whole institution of the franchise and its toys. Everything else is a series of awful puns and silly costumes that feel like they are playing to the cheapest of cheap seats, with performances that are just damn weird rather than funny. Bill Pullman starring in Lost Highway is perfect, as he is the sort of good looking weirdo who David Lynch absolutely loves, and it leaks into this as well.

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Most Valuable Asset: Wit.
Most Excited For: Twelve Chairs?
Did They Deserve a Spot?: Yes, but not for this.

Coming Up Next: Disney’s greatest talent, David Hand.

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