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#QueerQuote: “‘Excusage Me While I Whip This Out.” – Bart, “Blazing Saddles” (1974)

By Stephen Rutledge on June 28, 2020 4:44 am


Warner Bros (1974) by means of YouTube

Cleavon Little (1939-1992) depicted Sheriff Bart in the Mel Brooks film Blazing Saddles (1974), which lugged him a BAFTA nomicountry. He began his career in the late 1960s on the stage. In 1970, he starred in the Broadway production of the musical Purlie (1970) winning both a Drama Workdesk Award and a Tony Award.

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Blazing Saddles, a film that most likely might not be made in our very own politically correct era, started as story outline by Andrew Bergman that he intfinished to develop himself. It was titled Tex-X, a play on Malcolm X‘s name. Alan Arkin was hired to direct through James Earl Jones playing the sheriff. Brooks favored the story and also purchased the film civil liberties from Bergman. Brooks lugged in a group of authors and also posted a large sign: “Please execute not write a polite script.

Brooks came up via the name Blazing Saddles while taking a shower one morning.

Richard Pryor was Brooks’ original choice to play the Sheriff Bart, however the studio, claiming his background of drug arrests made him uninsurable, refprovided to give financing through Pryor as the star. Little was cast in the function, and Pryor stayed on as a writer. Brooks readily available the other leading role, the Waco Kid, to John Wayne; he decreased, deeming the film as well dirty, however assured Brooks that “he would be the first one in line to check out it.” Gig Young was actors, yet he fell down during his initially scene from alcohol withdrawal syndrome. Gene Wilder reinserted him. Johnny Carson turned dvery own the function of Hedley Lamarr function prior to Harvey Korman was cast. Madeline Kahn objected as soon as Brooks asked to check out her legs in the time of her audition. Brooks:

“She shelp, ‘So it’s THAT kind of an audition?’ I defined that I was a happily married male and also that I essential someone who could straddle a chair with her legs choose Marlene Dietrich in Destry Rides Again. So, she lifted her skirt and also shelp, ‘No touching."”


Little and also Kahn by means of YouTube


Kahn as Lili Von Shtupp, by means of YouTube

Brooks had actually countless disputes with Warner Bros over the frequent use of the N-word, plus Lili Von Shtupp’s (Kahn) seduction scene, the farting around the campfire, and also Mongo (Alex Karras) punching a equine. Brooks, whose contract offered him final control, decreased to make any changes, other than for cutting Bart’s final line throughout Lili’s seduction:

“I hate to disappoint you, ma’am, however you’re sucking my arm.”

When asked later about the usage of the N-word, Brooks shelp he obtained constant assistance from Pryor and Little. He freshly wrote:

“If they did a remake of Blazing Saddles this day, they would leave out the N-word. And then, you’ve got no movie.”

Brooks shelp he received many letters of complaint after the film’s release, many of them were from white world.

The civilization premiere of Blazing Saddles was in February 1974, at the Pickwick Drive-In Theater in Burbank. 250 invited guests, including Little and Wilder, watched the film on horseago.

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Film star Hedy Lamarr sued Warner Bros., charging that the film’s running parody of her name infringed on her ideal to privacy. Brooks shelp he was flattered; the studio settled out of court for a small sum and an apology for “practically utilizing her name.” Brooks said that Lamarr “never obtained the joke.”


Blazing Saddles grossed $120 million, coming to be only the tenth film approximately that time to pass the $100 million note. The film obtained 3 Academy Award nominations: Best Supporting Actress for Madeline Kahn, Best Film Editing, and also Best Original Tune. The film likewise earned two BAFTA awards nomicountries, for Little and Best Screenplay. It won the Writers Guild of America Award for Original Screenplay for writers Brooks, Bergguy and Pryor.