Silent Movie | Chicago Reader

Silent Movie

Why a filmmaker of Mel Brooks's exclusively verbal gifts should have chosen to film a silent comedy remains a mystery: his sight gags beg for comparison with Chaplin and Keaton but barely reach the level of the Three Stooges, which is to say that violence prevails over grace and imagination. Brooks stars as a failed producer who thinks the novelty of a nontalking film will be a smash in 70s Hollywood (i.e., himself); there are supporting and cameo appearances by Marty Feldman, Dom DeLuise, Bernadette Peters, Sid Caesar, Burt Reynolds, Liza Minnelli, Paul Newman, and Marcel Marceau (whose surprise gag is anything but).

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