ASU professor comments on groundbreaking 'Blazing Saddles' film
The hit movie "Blazing Saddles," featuring Gene Wilder and Cleavon Little, is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year. In honor of this milestone, NPR took the time to honor the film that successfully showcased the best interracial buddy comedy on the big screen.
In the piece, Arizona State University film and media studies professor, Michael Green, shared his thoughts on the dynamic relationship between Little and Wilder. Prior to the 1970s, audiences were accustomed to seeing African-American actors in roles that didn’t appear aggressive or threatening. Green says that the movie “Shaft” set the tone for “Blazing Saddles” by introducing the “urban black hero” role to viewers. Director Mel Brooks then used his wit to create Wilder and Little’s relationship.
"Blazing Saddles is a satire of racism," Green says. "That's what makes it groundbreaking. (Brooks) satirizes racism; he shows how stupid it is,” said Green.