History of the World -- Part I

History of the World -- Part I

4.5 17

Cast: Dom DeLuise, Madeline Kahn, Harvey Korman


View All Available Formats & Editions

Mel Brooks produced, directed, wrote, and starred in this episodic comedy in the spirit of Monty Python and the 1957 studio travesty The Story of Mankind. The film is divided into five sequences that play like blue-toned Eddie Cantor vaudeville sketches -- "The Dawn of Man," "The Stone Age," The Spanish Inquisition," "The Bible," and "The Future." Also includedSee more details below


Mel Brooks produced, directed, wrote, and starred in this episodic comedy in the spirit of Monty Python and the 1957 studio travesty The Story of Mankind. The film is divided into five sequences that play like blue-toned Eddie Cantor vaudeville sketches -- "The Dawn of Man," "The Stone Age," The Spanish Inquisition," "The Bible," and "The Future." Also included is a Brooksian depiction of The Last Supper and a long-winded sequence about the French Revolution. The film starts with a 2001: A Space Odyssey parody, narrated by Orson Welles, in which a collection of ape-men learn to stand erect (in more ways than one). The Stone Age reveals the origins of both the first homo sapien and homosexual marriages. Brooks then appears in an Old Testament sequence as Moses, descending from Mount Sinai with three heavy stone tablets bearing the 15 Commandments; after he drops one of these tablets, the laws of God become 10 Commandments. The Roman period picks up with Brooks as Comicus, attempting to get a gig as a "stand-up philosopher" at Caesar's Palace. The Spanish Inquisition is a musical production number with monks torturing Jews to lively Broadway musical strains. The final French revolution section is a broad parody of The Man in the Iron Mask story. The film closes with coming attractions of "History of the World, Part II" that features a rousing Star Wars parody (anticipating Space Balls) called "Jews in Space" that includes a jaunty theme song.

Read More

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide
History of the World Part I is the kind of uneven comedy whose bad parts are so unworthy of its good parts that it creates a state of total schizophrenia. As those who shook their heads at the sputtering ending of Blazing Saddles will attest, Mel Brooks can be brilliant in stretches, but he often fills the gaps with eye-rolling idiocy, or simply ceases to try. Give him credit for making an ambitious parody with dozens of familiar faces hamming it up, but then take some away for the indifferent execution that falls away progressively as the movie moves forward. As usual with Brooks, the silly puns and other obvious jokes are sometimes quite winning; in a prime example, the director wrings genuine laughs from a scene in which a confused Jesus Christ keeps responding to the modern usage of his last name as an expletive. But he milks the winners for way too long. As the king in the French Revolution piece, Brooks winks at the audience and pronounces, "It's good to be the king" after engaging in one act of kingly lasciviousness after another. At first it's funny, but as the segment drags out interminably, it quickly becomes desperate, and groans soon follow. The film is worth a look for what it does right, including a priceless sequence in which the inimitable Madeline Kahn, as the Brooksian-named Empress Nympho, does a sing-songy selection between studs on the basis of their endowment. Still, it's definitely best that Brooks never tried a Part II.

Product Details

Release Date:
Original Release:
20th Century Fox
Region Code:
[Wide Screen]
[DTS 5.1-Channel Surround Sound, Dolby AC-3 Surround Sound]
Sales rank:

Special Features

Musical Mel: Inventing "The Inquisition" HD Featurette; Making History: Mel Brooks on creating the world HD featurette; The real history of the World Trivia Track; Isolated score track

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Mel Brooks Comicus,Jacques,King Lou,Moses,Torquemada
Dom DeLuise Nero
Madeline Kahn Empress Nympho
Harvey Korman Count de Monet
Cloris Leachman Madame de Farge
Ron Carey Swiftus
Gregory Hines Josephus
Andréas Voutsinas Bearnaise
Shecky Green Marcus Vindictus
Sid Caesar Chief Caveman
Howard Morris Court Spokesman
Rudy DeLuca Capt. Mucus
Orson Welles Narrator
Charlie Callas Soothsayer
Paul Mazursky Roman Officer
Art Metrano Leonardo Da Vinci
Diane Day Caladonia
Henny Youngman Chemist
Fritz Feld Maitre d'
Hugh Hefner Entrepreneur
Pat McCormick Plumbing Salesman
John Hurt Jesus Christ
Jackie Mason Jew
Phil Leeds Chief Monk
Jack Carter Rat Vendor
Jan Murray Nothing Vendor
Spike Milligan Monsieur Rimbaud
John Hillerman Rich Man
Sidney Lassick Applecore Vendor
Jonathan Cecil Poppinjay
Andrew Sachs Gerard
John Gavin Marche
Ronny Graham Oedipus
Spencer Henderson Actor
John King Actor
Richard Lewis Actor
Stan Mazin Actor
Dennon Rawles Actor
Lori Sutton Actor
Richard Karron Actor
Molly Basler Actor
Royce Mills Actor
Mike Cottrell Actor
Cleo Rocos Actor
Pamela Stephenson Mademoiselle Rimbaud
Mary-Margaret Humes Miriam
Leigh French Prehistoric Man
Sammy Shore Prehistoric Man
J.J. Barry Prehistoric Man
Earl Finn Disciple
Suzanne Kent Prehistoric Man
Michael Champion Prehistoric Man
Dena Dietrich Competence
Ron Clark Stoned Soldier
Jack Riley Stoned Soldier
Barry Levinson Column Salesman
Sid Gould Barber
Jim Steck Gladiator
John Myhers Senate Leader
Lee Delano Wagon Driver
Alan U. Schwartz Senator #2
Ira Miller Roman Citizen
Johnny Silver Small Liar
Charles Thomas Murphy Auctioneer
Eileen Saki Slave
Henry Kaiser Disciple
Zale Kessler Disciple
Anthony Messina Disciple
Howard Mann Disciple
Sandy Helberg Disciple
Mitchell Bock Disciple
Jeana Tomasina Vestal Virgin
Lisa Welch Vestal Virgin
Heidi Sorenson Vestal Virgin
Fiona Richmond Queen
Nigel Hawthorne Official
Geoffrey Larder Footman
Michael Miller Coming Attraction
Royce D. Applegate Coming Attraction
Bea Arthur Clerk
Hunter Von Leer Lt. Bob
Sean Barry-Weske Insolent Flunkey

Technical Credits
Mel Brooks Director,Producer,Screenwriter
Steve Cantamessa Sound/Sound Designer
Stuart Cornfeld Associate Producer
Stuart Craig Production Designer
Daniel Gluck Set Decoration/Design
Robert C. Goldstein Set Decoration/Design
Ronny Graham Screenwriter
John C. Howard Editor
Alan Johnson Associate Producer
Marci Liroff Casting
Daniel Maltese Set Decoration/Design
Harold Michelson Production Designer
Anthony Mondello Set Decoration/Design
John Morris Score Composer
Norman Newberry Production Designer
Pat Norris Costumes/Costume Designer
Woody Omens Cinematographer
Gregory Pickrell Set Decoration/Design
Robert W. Welch Set Decoration/Design
Albert J. Whitlock Special Effects
Paul Wilson Cinematographer
Jerry Ziesmer Asst. Director

Read More

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network


Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >