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History of the World Part I

It's difficult to dislike Brooks' parody of the historical epic, as old-fashioned as it is anarchic: a series of comic sketches playing through scenes from Kubrick's 2001, DeMille's Ten Command-ments, Roman sandal epics, and Louis XIV's court immediately prior to the French Revolution. Brooks piles on the scatological humour thick and fast, including many of the world's worst jokes, and as usual there's a high number of misses for every gag that hits the target. Centrepiece is a lavish Busby Berkeley-style production number, 'The Inquisition', a bad taste attempt to recapture the kitsch glories of 'Springtime for Hitler' (in The Producers). And, like the Monty Python team, Brooks knows full well that one of his best jokes is production values at least as impressive as what he's lampooning.

Release details

Duration: 92 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Mel Brooks
Screenwriter: Mel Brooks
Cast: Mel Brooks
Dom DeLuise
Madeline Kahn
Harvey Korman
Cloris Leachman
Gregory Hines
Pamela Stephenson
Sid Caesar
Spike Milligan
John Hurt
Nigel Hawthorne