The prolific writer/director, Mel Brooks has earned the reputation as the creator of some of the funniest entertainment of the 20th century. With classics such as "Young Frankenstein" and "Blazing Saddles" under his belt, the funny man has managed to direct 11 distinctly silly films that audiences have enjoyed since the late 1960s.
Late '60s, '70s
Within a nine-year span, Mel Brooks started his feature film directing career with the hit comedy "The Producers" (1968), which later became adapted into a hit musical on Broadway starring Nathan Lane and Matthew Broderick. After having worked with Gene Wilder for the first time in "The Producers," Brooks directed Wilder in two other films released in the same year, "Young Frankenstein" (1974) and "Blazing Saddles" (1974). In between directing "The Producers" and "Blazing Saddles," Mel Brooks also directed a movie called "The Twelve Chairs" (1970), which starred Frank Langella and Dom DeLuise. In 1976, Brooks directed "Silent Movie," about a group of filmmakers trying to create a silent movie. Rounding out the nine-year period from 1968 to 1977, Brooks directed the Hitchcock spoof, "High Anxiety" (1977).
Brooks took a four-year break after he directed "High Anxiety" but returned to theaters in 1981 with a comical take on the "History of the World: Part I." The film covered such monumental periods in history such as the height of the Roman Empire and the French Revolution but with a decidedly satirical spin. The director followed the 1981 movie with the "Star Wars" parody "Space Balls" in 1987, which starred John Candy, Bill Pullman and Rick Moranis. Brooks, as with most of his films, starred in the movie, playing the character of Yoghurt, an obvious spoof on the "Star Wars" character Yoda.
Brooks directed his last three theatrical releases in the early 1990s, starting with the film "Life Stinks" in 1991. The film, starring Jeffrey Tambor, Mel Brooks and Lesley Ann Warren, centered on the premise of a businessman betting his rival that he can survive on the streets as a homeless person in L.A. The next project for Brooks was "Robin Hood: Men in Tights" in 1993---another satire on a popular cultural icon. The last film Brooks directed was "Dracula: Dead and Loving It" in 1995, which starred the comic actor Harvey Korman (who also starred in "Blazing Saddles" and "High Anxiety"), Leslie Nielsen and Peter MacNicol.
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