History of the World -- Part I

( 17 )

Overview

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, ...
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Overview

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.
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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
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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.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 5/11/2010
  • UPC: 024543657927
  • Original Release: 1981
  • Rating:

  • Source: Fox Searchlight
  • Region Code: A
  • Presentation: Wide Screen
  • Sound: DTS 5.1-Channel Surround Sound, Dolby AC-3 Surround Sound
  • Language: Français
  • Time: 1:32:00
  • Format: Blu-ray
  • Sales rank: 14,329

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 de Luca Capt. Mucus
Orson Welles Voice Only
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
Patty 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
Royce D. Applegate Coming Attraction
Bea Arthur Clerk
J.J. Barry Prehistoric Man
Sean Barry-Weske Insolent Flunkey
Molly Basler
Mitchell Bock Disciple
Michael Champion Prehistoric Man
Ron Clark Stoned Soldier
Mike Cottrell
Lee Delano Wagon Driver
Dena Dietrich Competence
Earl Finn Disciple
Leigh French Prehistoric Man
Sid Gould Barber
Ronny Graham Oedipus
Nigel Hawthorne Official
Sandy Helberg Disciple
Spencer Henderson
Mary-Margaret Humes Miriam
Henry Kaiser Disciple
Richard Karron
Suzanne Kent Prehistoric Man
Zale Kessler Disciple
John King
Geoffrey Larder Footman
Hunter Von Leer Lt. Bob
Barry Levinson Column Salesman
Richard Lewis
Howard Mann Disciple
Stan Mazin
Anthony Messina Disciple
Ira Miller Roman Citizen
Michael Miller Coming Attraction
Royce Mills
Charles Thomas Murphy Auctioneer
John Myhers Senate Leader
Dennon Rawles
Fiona Richmond Queen
Jack Riley Stoned Soldier
Cleo Rocos
Eileen Saki Slave
Alan U. Schwartz Senator #2
Sammy Shore Prehistoric Man
Johnny Silver Small Liar
Heidi Sorenson Vestal Virgin
Jim Steck Gladiator
Pamela Stephenson Mademoiselle Rimbaud
Lori Sutton
Jeana Tomasina Vestal Virgin
Lisa Welch Vestal Virgin
Technical Credits
Mel Brooks Director, Producer, Screenwriter
Gene S. Cantamessa Sound/Sound Designer
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 III Set Decoration/Design
Albert J. Whitlock Special Effects
Paul Wilson Cinematographer
Jerry Ziesmer Asst. Director
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 17 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(12)

4 Star

(2)

3 Star

(3)

2 Star

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1 Star

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Sort by: Showing all of 17 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Okay, But Not Mel Brooks Best!

    I'm a huge fan of Mel Brooks and I just watched History of the World Part 1 for the first time and while the movie had some funny parts it also had a lot of parts that just weren't all that funny and were kind of lame and it is my least favorite Mel Brooks movie. Definitely doesn't live up to classics like Young Frankenstein, The Producers and Blazing Saddles!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    I met Mel Brooks!!!!

    I love all his films and think that they are some of the best ever. He is a the best writer/director ever!!!!!! This is my favorite because of the historical aspect thye best is the part about the ten commandments!!!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Mel Brook's strikes gold!

    If you are are fan of other Mel Brooks' movies, this is just another one, but it stands out beyond the others, it is by far the funniest. The film tells the story of History, through the eyes of the comedic genious Mel Brooks. He starts off with a fairly crude 2001: A space odyssey joke and then weaves into the Caveman age. In this part are some truy primitive but hilarious jokes about artists and a dinosaur. After that short part, there is the longest part, the Roman empire. Dom Deluise is great as the Caeser and after many religious, racial, and a particulary insane drug joke, the Spanish inquisition scene opens, which is basically one big song with swimming nuns and tortured prisoners. And finally, the fourth and final part the French revolution, is truly hilarious. After some jokes about French working class...'' Apple cores, get your apple cores! Rats!Dead rats! I'm selling nothing! Absolutely nothing!'' The part is full with jokes like that. After a very lewd chess game and the boy with the bucket,(I won't tell you what it is for, but the bucket is disgusting!) the Revolution begins and a big mix-up almost gets a commoner beheaded. Then their is a phony ad for Part II with viking funerals, hitler on ice, and hews in space. So that is mel brooks' greatest comedy in my eyes. If your into religious, crude, scatalogical, raunchy, drug, and violent humor, this is definitely a movie for you!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Brooks, Brilliant

    Funny Jews are Funnier than any other Creed. Hands down. Proud to be a part of the Tribe. If you feel your history's a bit shabby, and tired of friends putting you down because of it, remember that Brooks is there to rescue you. Truly a Brilliant piece in the tradition of Citizen Kane, Laurence of Arabia and... Animal House. With a dishevelled and cruel world, at least there is Brooks (and others in History of the World I) to put smiles on our faces.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Excellant

    If you enjoy history and want to look at it from another view. Watch this movie you wont regret it.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    the best

    mel brooks at his finest. and most off colour! i've peroused the world over for humour and this is as good as it gets. it is unfit for any one under 18, over 60, prudish, or anyone else with a pulse. you'll love this one!!!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    HOLY $&%T

    THIS HAS TO BE MEL BROOKS AT HIS BEST. THE WAY THAT HE EMBRACES HISTORY AND BRINGS IT INTO A FUNNY OUTLINE IS THE BEST. THIS MOVIE IS A MUST FOR ANY ONE THAT LIKES MEL BROOKS WORK OR LOVES COMEDY.

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    Posted June 4, 2010

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    Posted December 7, 2011

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    Posted January 13, 2009

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    Posted January 27, 2009

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    Posted July 23, 2009

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    Posted October 26, 2008

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    Posted June 3, 2010

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    Posted October 16, 2009

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    Posted October 27, 2008

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