Mel Brooks' historical parody is split into five sections: In 'The Stone Age', a caveman invents music after dropping a rock on his foot. However the development of the fine arts brings with it an unwelcome side-effect - the birth of the critic. 'The Roman Empire' sees Jesus and his disciples being served by a pushy waiter at the Last Supper, whilst 'The Spanish Inquisition' is turned into a big-budget musical number. Truly revolting peasants revolt in 'The French Revolution' and 'Coming Attractions' promises a sequel featuring Hitler performing an ice ballet.
Mel Brooks's 1981, three-part comedy--set in the Stone Age, the Roman Empire, and the French Revolution--is pure guilty pleasure. Narrated by Orson Welles and featuring a lot of famous faces in guest appearances (beyond the official cast), the film opens well with Sid Caesar playing a caveman, then moves along to the unlikely but somehow hilarious juxtaposition of Caesar's soldiers (the other Caesar, not Sid) with pot humour, and ends on a dumb-funny note in the French bloodbath. This is a take-it-or-leave-it movie, and it works best if you're in a take-it-or-leave-it mood. --Tom Keogh
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