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History of the World: Part 1

In 1981 (in between "High Anxiety" and "Spaceballs") a manic Mel Brooks took a huge swipe at history with HISTORY OF THE WORLD PART 1.

Brooks and his writers are throwing everything at the wall here, starting with an unfunny caveman bit and then rolling into a long sequence in Roman times.

Good for some mild laughs, Brooks and Gregory Hines have fun and elicit a couple chuckles. Brooks is in very broad comedy mode here, with Vaudeville level word spiced up with some sexy jokes. It's all fairly lowbrow.

Any three minutes of Python's "The Life of Brian" is funnier than the entire 30 minute sequence here.

Things look up a bit as the film moves to France for the revolution "It's good to be the King!" and then onto probably the best bit in the film, Brooks huge musical number on the Spanish Inquisition.

Showing the musical talents he'd later expand on for his Broadway smash, "The Producers", Brooks goes Busby Berkeley for big laughs and well staged visuals.

Harvey Korman, Cloris Leachman, Shecky Greene and Madeline Kahn all get some pretty big laughs along the way, but it's decidedly lesser Mel here.

A sneak peak of Part II provides some solid laughs, but this installment wasn't a hit and the sequel never happened. Based on the results here, that's a good thing.

I'm guessing "Jews In Space" morphed into Spaceballs after History failed to connect.

We'll give it a C and remember better Brooks films instead.

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