History of the World—Part I | Chicago Reader

History of the World—Part I

Rated R 92 minutes

Hit-or-miss is Mel Brooks's middle name, and this set of period sketches runs the gamut from wonderful to awful, as is usual with his work. But the wonderful stuff is so funny that it makes most of the awful stuff tolerable; the big production number called "The Inquisition," for instance, goes beyond The Producers's "Springtime for Hitler" in outrageousness. Keep in mind that Brooks is more verbal than visual in orientation and you'll be amply rewarded. With Brooks, Dom DeLuise, Madeline Kahn, Cloris Leachman, Harvey Korman, Ron Carey, Sid Caesar, Pamela Stephenson, Henny Youngman, and Orson Welles (as narrator).

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