“May the Schwartz Be With You” – Off-the-Wall Movies

 

Spaceballs

 

Like Galaxy Quest was an homage to Star Trek, Mel Brooks off-the-wall comedy Spaceballs (1987) was a send-off of Star Wars. Its setting and characters parody the original Star Wars trilogy, as well as other sci-fi franchises including Star Trek, Alien, and the Planet of the Apes films.

The plot is set in a distant galaxy, planet Spaceball which has depleted its air supply, leaving its citizens reliant on a product called “Perri-Air.” (See, I told you off-the-wall)

Mel Brooks

Mel Brooks

In desperation, Spaceball’s leader President Skroob (Mel Brooks) orders the evil Dark Helmet (Rick Moranis) to kidnap Princess Vespa (Daphne Zuniga) of oxygen-rich Druidia and hold her hostage in exchange for air.

Rick Moranis (Dark Helmet)

Rick Moranis (Dark Helmet)

But help arrives for the Princess in the form of renegade space pilot Lone Starr (Bill Pullman) and his half-man, half-dog partner, Barf (John Candy). (IMDb)

 

Spaceballs is a 1987 American science fiction parody film co-written, produced and directed by Mel Brooks. Starring Brooks, Bill Pullman, John Candy, and Rick Moranis, the film also features Daphne Zuniga, Dick Van Patten, and the voice of Joan Rivers as Dot Matrix. (Wikipedia)

 

The film was met with a mixed reception but I think it can be classified as a cult classic, definitely an off the-wall-classic.

Going back and researching this film I almost forgot the funniest scene that had me on the floor. When I first saw this I literally screamed! Which I’m sure had the cleaning lady a the Residence Inn, where I was staying, shaking her head. (This chick is nuts!)

 

OMG, that was hilarious!! Who would have thought you could turn that incredibly terrifying moment in Alien into this “spit your milk out” moment.

Once again, Rick Moranis is absolutely brilliant! Just looking at him in that ginormous helmet, you can’t help but crack-up. Portraying the embodiment of the “Napoleon complex” his action playing with his dolls is too precious.

Trivia:

  • IT WASN’T THE FIRST STAR WARS PARODY FILM.

Amateur filmmaker, Ernie Fosselius was so enamored with Star Wars in 1977 that he cobbled together a 12-minute short, Hardware Wars, which he shot for just $8,000 in an abandoned laundromat. It was even declared a “cute little film” by George Lucas.

  • LUCAS GAVE HIS (CONDITIONAL) BLESSING.

Based on Brooks not doing any merchandising. The Lucas people were just upset about one aspect of Spaceballs,” Brooks told Starlog in 1987. “They didn’t think it was fair for us to do a take-off and then merchandise the characters.”

  • BILL PULLMAN WAS BROOKS’ THIRD CHOICE.

According to Pullman, the actor—who had not yet had a starring role—was approached by Brooks only after Tom Cruise and Tom Hanks turned down the role of Lone Starr, the Han Solo-esque lead of the film. Pullman said that hiring Rick Moranis and John Candy freed Brooks up to cast a relative unknown.

  • BARF’S EARS UPSTAGED THE ACTORS.

John Candy, who played half-dog/half-man Barf, was usually trailed on-set by Effects artist Rick Lazzarini and the effects crew, who had to control both his tail and his ears. At one point, Lazzarini was told by Brooks that he didn’t “have to move the ears so much!” They were too active in scenes focused on other characters. (Candy, incidentally, performed with a 40-pound battery backpack strapped to him to control the animatronics.)

(Jake Rossen-(mental_floss)

 

John Candy - Barf

John Candy – Barf

So, if you’re looking for a good laugh and a total mind distraction, I recommend “Spaceballs” as the perfect gag-filled tonic.

Image result for spaceballs may the schwartz be with you gif

 

“May the Schwartz Be With You” – Off-the-Wall Movies

 

Spaceballs

 

Like Galaxy Quest was an homage to Star Trek, Mel Brooks off-the-wall comedy Spaceballs (1987) was a send-off of Star Wars. Its setting and characters parody the original Star Wars trilogy, as well as other sci-fi franchises including Star Trek, Alien, and the Planet of the Apes films.

The plot is set in a distant galaxy, planet Spaceball which has depleted its air supply, leaving its citizens reliant on a product called “Perri-Air.” (See, I told you off-the-wall)

Mel Brooks

Mel Brooks

In desperation, Spaceball’s leader President Skroob (Mel Brooks) orders the evil Dark Helmet (Rick Moranis) to kidnap Princess Vespa (Daphne Zuniga) of oxygen-rich Druidia and hold her hostage in exchange for air.

Rick Moranis (Dark Helmet)

Rick Moranis (Dark Helmet)

But help arrives for the Princess in the form of renegade space pilot Lone Starr (Bill Pullman) and his half-man, half-dog partner, Barf (John Candy). (IMDb)

 

Spaceballs is a 1987 American science fiction parody film co-written, produced and directed by Mel Brooks. Starring Brooks, Bill Pullman, John Candy, and Rick Moranis, the film also features Daphne Zuniga, Dick Van Patten, and the voice of Joan Rivers as Dot Matrix. (Wikipedia)

 

The film was met with a mixed reception but I think it can be classified as a cult classic, definitely an off the-wall-classic.

Going back and researching this film I almost forgot the funniest scene that had me on the floor. When I first saw this I literally screamed! Which I’m sure had the cleaning lady a the Residence Inn, where I was staying, shaking her head. (This chick is nuts!)

 

OMG, that was hilarious!! Who would have thought you could turn that incredibly terrifying moment in Alien into this “spit your milk out” moment.

Once again, Rick Moranis is absolutely brilliant! Just looking at him in that ginormous helmet, you can’t help but crack-up. Portraying the embodiment of the “Napoleon complex” his action playing with his dolls is too precious.

Trivia:

  • IT WASN’T THE FIRST STAR WARS PARODY FILM.

Amateur filmmaker, Ernie Fosselius was so enamored with Star Wars in 1977 that he cobbled together a 12-minute short, Hardware Wars, which he shot for just $8,000 in an abandoned laundromat. It was even declared a “cute little film” by George Lucas.

  • LUCAS GAVE HIS (CONDITIONAL) BLESSING.

Based on Brooks not doing any merchandising. The Lucas people were just upset about one aspect of Spaceballs,” Brooks told Starlog in 1987. “They didn’t think it was fair for us to do a take-off and then merchandise the characters.”

  • BILL PULLMAN WAS BROOKS’ THIRD CHOICE.

According to Pullman, the actor—who had not yet had a starring role—was approached by Brooks only after Tom Cruise and Tom Hanks turned down the role of Lone Starr, the Han Solo-esque lead of the film. Pullman said that hiring Rick Moranis and John Candy freed Brooks up to cast a relative unknown.

  • BARF’S EARS UPSTAGED THE ACTORS.

John Candy, who played half-dog/half-man Barf, was usually trailed on-set by Effects artist Rick Lazzarini and the effects crew, who had to control both his tail and his ears. At one point, Lazzarini was told by Brooks that he didn’t “have to move the ears so much!” They were too active in scenes focused on other characters. (Candy, incidentally, performed with a 40-pound battery backpack strapped to him to control the animatronics.)

(Jake Rossen-(mental_floss)

 

John Candy - Barf

John Candy – Barf

So, if you’re looking for a good laugh and a total mind distraction, I recommend “Spaceballs” as the perfect gag-filled tonic.

Image result for spaceballs may the schwartz be with you gif

 

Puttin’ on the Ritz with Young Frankenstein!

Twentieth Century Fox Presents

A special event in cinemas nationwide

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Image result for 20TH CENTURY FOX fathom events

Young Frankenstein (1974)

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young frankenstein fathom events

Special Fathom Feature:

Seeing this black-and-white masterpiece on the big screen with an audience is a rarity in itself, but to make this screening a truly one-of-a-kind experience, writer, and director Mel Brooks will introduce the film live from the 20th Century Fox Lot in Hollywood, CA.

mel brooks

Mel Brooks “Young Frankenstein”

As I’ve written about before, “Young Frankenstein” is one of my all-time favorite films! Mel Brooks’ genius is on full display as he accurately fuses every Frankenstein film into one of the most hilarious ever produced.

In 2003, it was deemed “culturally, historically or aesthetically significant” by the United States National Film Preservation Board, and selected for preservation in the Library of Congress National Film Registry. On its 40th anniversary, Brooks considered it by far his finest (though not his funniest) film as a writer-director. (Wikipedia)

The original “Frankenstein” is no longer a horror film to me since watching Mel’s take on this Universal Classic. There are so many scenes and moments from Brook’s movie that I couldn’t possibly pinpoint one. This is a reel of some of the best moments.

Young Frankenstein brings together Brooks’s inimitable style with a cast of comedy legends, including Gene Wilder as Federick Fronkensteen, Marty Feldman as shifty humpback Igor, Teri Garr as the hay-rolling lab assistant Inga, the brilliant Madeleine Kahn as Dr. Frankenstein’s high-strung fiancée Elizabeth, Peter Boyle as the kind-hearted monster, an uncredited Gene Hackman as the blind man who befriends him, and Cloris Leachman as Frau Blücher!

“Frau Blücher”

“Young Frankenstein” is a 1974 American black comedy film directed by Mel Brooks and starring Gene Wilder as the title character, a descendant of the infamous Dr. Victor Frankenstein. The supporting cast includes Teri Garr, Cloris Leachman, Marty Feldman, Peter Boyle, Madeline Kahn, Kenneth MarsRichard Haydn and Gene Hackman. The screenplay was written by Wilder and Brooks. (Wikipedia)

Check out the doctor and Frankie, Jr. “Puttin’ on the Ritz!”

Join in the fun as the young neurosurgeon (Wilder), inherits the castle of his grandfather, the famous Dr. Victor von Frankenstein. Young Frankenstein believes that the work of his grandfather is to put it in his words, “do do”, but when he discovers the book where the mad doctor describes his reanimation experiment, the light bulb comes on as he exclaims – “It could work!”.

“Dr. Frederick Frankenstein”

The film is an affectionate parody of the classic horror film genre, in particular, the various film adaptations of Mary Shelley‘s novel Frankenstein produced by Universal in the 1930s.

Frankenstein poster 1931.jpg

Most of the lab equipment used as props was created by Kenneth Strickfaden for the 1931 film Frankenstein. To help evoke the atmosphere of the earlier films, Brooks shot the picture entirely in black-and-white, a rarity in the 1970s, and employed 1930s’ style opening credits and scene transitions such as iris outs, wipes, and fades to black. The film also features a period score by Brooks’ longtime composer John Morris. (Wikipedia)

If you’ve never experienced this Mel Brooks’ gem, make sure to check out this one-night special event! And, if you’re a fan like I am, this is a great opportunity to quote your favorite lines and re-enjoy this classic on the big screen!

Extras: Behind the scenes of the Making of “Young Frankenstein”.

Tickets available online here.  You can also, check with your local theater for showtimes and tickets.

 

Don’t miss this incredible opportunity to see the classic film on the big screen!

Fathom Events

 

 

Gene Wilder – A World of Pure Imagination

Image result for gene wilder

Gene Wilder Dies at age 83

Time reversed itself for a moment when I heard the news of Gene Wilder’s passing due to complications from Alzheimer’s Disease. He’s been a part of my life since “Willy Wonka”and his spirit helped me through the challenging and uncertain days of my fight against Colon and Breast Cancer.

Image result for willy wonka quotes

Last year I wrote about Gene Wilder on my Livinginthemoment2015.com blog as I began chemotherapy for Colon Cancer and how his role in one of my favorite films,”Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory” influenced my attitude toward treatment.

Throughout my cancer journey, I was constantly inspired by Wonka’s belief that all things are possible with imagination, whatever your dream may be. What a great philosophy and attitude to keep joy and a positive spirit in your life.

It was “lightning in a bottle” when Wilder teamed up with the brilliant, writer, producer, actor and director Mel Brooks. Their collaboration cemented our “love affair” and would lead to the hilarious and very political comedy-western, “Blazing Saddles” (1974), in which Brooks also starred. This film is an all-time favorite at my house and it’s not unusual for me and my husband to break out in quotes from the movie as we reflect back on the film with fondness.

Image result for blazing saddles movie poster

 

The Waco Kid

 

gene wilder blazing saddles gif

“Mongo only pawn in game of life.”

I break out in uncontrollable laughter at just the thought of “Young Frankenstein”.

Image result for gene wilder movie gifs

The next Mel Brooks, Gene Wilder collaboration, “Young Frankenstein” (1974) was pure genius. I’m an old Universal horror fan and the accuracy of integrating all the Frankenstein films with humor was unforgettable and an incredible tribute to the franchise.

“Puttin’ on the Ritz”

Baron Von Frankenstein

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wilder aspired to touch audiences much as Charlie Chaplin had. The Chaplin film “City Lights,” he said, had “made the biggest impression on me as an actor; it was funny, then sad, then both at the same time.” Mr. Wilder was an accomplished stage actor as well as a screenwriter, a novelist and the director of four movies in which he starred. (He directed, he once said, “in order to protect what I wrote, which I wrote in order to act.”)

“Bonnie and Clyde” 1967

He made his movie debut in 1967 in Arthur Penn’s celebrated crime drama, “Bonnie and Clyde,” in which he was memorably hysterical as an undertaker kidnapped by the notorious Depression-era bank robbers played by Faye Dunaway and Warren Beatty. He was even more hysterical, and even more memorable, a year later in “The Producers,” the first film by Mr. Brooks, who later turned it into a Broadway hit. (New York Times)

 

Although his light has dimmed his spirit will live on forever. R.I.P.

Image result for willy wonka quotes

 

 

 

 

 

Most Quotable Films Part Two 👏🎞

As I write on my About page, I’ve loved movies ever since I was a kid at the Saturday matinees. When the VCR was developed, I was in heaven. The ability to view my favorite films whenever I wanted was a day I had envisioned since childhood.

This post is Part 2 of Most Quotable Films and features some of my favorite, most notable quotes from my best-loved movies.

My family has a lot of fun reciting movies and my children were raised watching and memorizing movie lines.There are way too many quotable films to name, but here goes:

CaddyShack (1980)

CaddyShack is a raucous joyride of quotes. How could it help be starring Chevy Chase, Rodney Dangerfield, and Bill Murray?  I don’t know how any of the cast could keep a straight face during filming. One of my favorite scenes is in the pool with the candy bar. Not going to give it away so give it a look-see.😂

 

Blazing Saddles (1974)

Starring Gene Wilder, Clevon Little, Harvey Korman, and Madeline Khan, this Mel Brooks film has to be one of the funniest flicks of all time! It offends everyone and in a past post titled “Too Blazing Hot”, I posed the question if this movie could be made today because of its’ incorrectness in practically every scene. However, this satire of western films lasers in on a myriad of stereotypes and folklore. My husband’s favorite scene was the villains around the campfire. After seeing it he insisted on us returning to the theater for what turned out to be an afternoon of non-stop belly laughs. If you haven’t already, make it a point to see this classic.

Young Frankenstein (1974)

Yet another Mel Brooks masterpiece, Young Frankenstein pays homage to the original Frankenstein and its’ sequels. I’m a huge Universal monster fan and was blown away with Brooks’ accuracy in the scenes and references to all the films. Absolute genius!

I’ve only touched on a minuscule number of quotable films. Let me know some of your favorites in the comments!

Too”Blazing”Hot?

Blazing Saddles_movie_poster

I’ll never forget the day my boyfriend (now husband) came to me super excited about, in his words, “the funniest movie he’s seen” and there’s another showing in half an hour!.  Okay I say, skeptical, but I’m game.  He couldn’t stop talking about his favorite “moment” – the “campfire and beans scene.”  As the end credits rolled I agreed, this was the funniest movie I’d ever seen and my favorite “moment” was — holy crap — I can’t name just one.  Lili von Shtupp “I’m Tired”, “The sheriff is near” or “Mongo only pawn in game of life.”   Awwh, it’s too hard to pick just one!  Blazing Saddles is probably one of the most quotable movies of all time.

The movie was nominated for three Academy Awards, and is ranked No. 6 on the American Film Institute‘s 100 Years…100 Laughs list.

“Mongo only pawn in game of life”

Mongo

 

But, I wonder, how would Blazing Saddles be received by audiences today?

This film was released in 1974 but reflecting today on the welcoming scene for Sheriff Bart, it could just as well have been President Obama’s Inaugural Reception.  In the western town of Rockridge the women clutched their purses and the men drew their guns.  A Black Sheriff, no way!  For some, The President’s election and re-election evoked some of those same feelings.  A Black man in the White House, no way!   Yes, it’s 2014 but yes for some, the stereotypes still exist.  There are those who wish the country could go back to the “good ole days” when if you were white it’s alright, but, if you’re black get back.  It’s irrational and built on fear, but racism has always been apart of the fabric of this country.

Mel nig

 

Directed by: Mel Brooks

Written by: Mel Brooks, Richard Pryor, Andrew Bergman, Norman Steinberg and Al Unger

Songs: Mel Brooks

Starring Cleavon Little
Gene Wilder
Harvey Korman
Slim Pickens
Madeline Kahn
Mel Brooks

It’s a brilliant film!  The writing, the acting, the concept.  And what a concept.  A Black sheriff in an all white 1874 small western town.  What could possibly go wrong?

The film is an in your face satire about racism in the old west as opposed to the Hollywood cowboy myth.  Liberal uses of the N word and plenty of references to black men being sexually”gifted.”  Lili: “Is it true what they say about you people?”  Also, you know black men all want white women.

Lili von Shtupp goes there:

 

“Where the white women at?”

 

I’m not really sure how Blazing Saddles would touch people today, but in 1974 I got the feeling that black and white laughed at the jokes and understood their own truth within the satire.   Have the voices of hate overshadowed our ability to laugh and rebuke racism or are the hate filled voices of today outliers?  Is the majority of the country trying to go backwards or are we embracing progress and the commitment it takes?

Harvey Mel

 Blazing Saddle Quotes:

  • Jim: [consoling Bart] What did you expect? “Welcome, sonny”? “Make yourself at home”? “Marry my daughter”? You’ve got to remember that these are just simple farmers. These are people of the land. The common clay of the new West. You know… morons.
  •  Bart: I better go check out this Mongo character.

[Bart reaches for his gun]

Jim: Oh no, don’t do that, don’t do that. If you shoot him, you’ll just make him mad.

  • Mexican Bandit: Badges? We don’t need no stinking badges.
  •  Lili Von Shtupp: Hello, handsome, is that a ten-gallon hat or are you just enjoying the show?

If you have seen the movie give it a revisit and let me know what you think.  Or if you haven’t, check it out and let me know your thoughts in the comments.