June 16, 1976 in US cinemas: Silent Movie

“IN GLORIOUS PHONIC SOUND”

Silent_Movie-1976Silent Movie is an American satirical comedy film co-written, directed by, and starring Mel Brooks, and released by 20th Century Fox. The ensemble cast includes Dom DeLuise, Marty Feldman, Bernadette Peters, and Sid Caesar, with appearances by Anne Bancroft, Liza Minnelli, Burt Reynolds, James Caan, Marcel Marceau, and Paul Newman playing themselves. While indeed silent (except for one word, music, and numerous sound effects), the film is a parody of the silent film genre, particularly the slapstick comedies of Charlie Chaplin, Mack Sennett, and Buster Keaton. Among the film’s most famous gags is the fact that the only audible word in the film is spoken by Marcel Marceau, a noted mime. Sound is a big factor in the film’s humour, as when a scene that shows the New York City skyline begins with the song “San Francisco”, only to have it come to a sudden stop as if the musicians realize they are playing the wrong music. They then go into “I’ll Take Manhattan” instead. A play on the current trend of large corporations buying up film studios is parodied by the attempt of the Engulf and Devour Corporation to take control of a studio (a thinly veiled reference to Gulf+Western’s takeover of Paramount Pictures). [Wikipedia]

Cinema-US-06-16-1976

Aspiring filmmakers Mel Funn, Marty Eggs and Dom Bell go to a financially troubled studio with an idea for a silent movie. In an effort to make the movie more marketable, they attempt to recruit a number of big name stars to appear, while the studio’s creditors attempt to thwart them. The film contains only one word of dialogue, spoken by an unlikely source. [IMDB]

Watch the trailer on the Sam Jones YouTube Channel.

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