Study Guide

Blazing Saddles Cunning and Cleverness

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Cunning and Cleverness

Sorry about the "Up yours, n*****." I hope this apple pie will in some small way say thank you for your ingenuity and courage in defeating that horrible Mongo.

After Bart has helped save Rock Ridge from a monster named Mongo, an old lady comes by his station to give him a pie to thank him. The thing she appreciates most about him is his "ingenuity and courage." And hey, she even apologizes for being super racist to him earlier that day.

HEDLEY: All my plans have backfired! Instead of the people leaving, they're staying in droves!

Hedley Lamarr can't believe it when all of his plans to destroy Rock Ridge backfire. The guy obviously has a pretty high opinion of his own cleverness, but the fact is that no matter how clever he is, Sheriff Bart is cleverer.

HEDLEY: Elementary, cactus-head! The beast has failed. And when the beast fails, it's time to call in beauty.

After his first attempt to kill Sheriff Bart fails, Hedley decides to switch up his tactics and to use a beautiful singer named Lili von Shtupp to seduce Bart and break his heart. Of course, this plan doesn't end up working either. But you've got to admire Hedley for trying new approaches to the same old problem.

BART: Now, before the sun comes up we're going to build on this site an exact replica of the town of Rock Ridge.

It seems like an insane idea at first. But with plenty of materials and plenty of people, Bart is able to create a complete copy of the town of Rock Ridge for Hedley Lamarr's army to destroy. Now it doesn't matter if Hedley has the strength of the whole world on his side. None of it will matter if his men attack the wrong town.

BART: Candy-gram for Mongo!

Jim tells Bart not to bother shooting Mongo with his pistol because it'll only make Mongo mad. So it makes sense that Bart would try to use his brains to take out the villain. That's when he comes up with the Bugs Bunny-ish plot of creating an explosive box of chocolates and delivering it to Mongo. Mel Brooks completes this little shout-out to Looney Tunes by playing the show's theme song as Bart walks away.

BART: Hold it! The next man makes a move, the n***** gets it!

When the people of Rock Ridge get ready to kill Bart, he decides that the only way to get out of the jam is by using trickery. So he puts a gun to his own head and changes his voice so that he basically takes himself hostage. The sudden bit of reverse psychology totally works, as the townsfolk put down their guns and Bart walks away until he's safe in his sheriff's office.

BART: He was nothing. The b**** was inventing the candy-gram. And they probably won't give me credit for it.

As Bart tells Jim, it wasn't hard to take out Mongo with an exploding box. In his words, the toughest part was inventing the candy-gram, which is director Mel Brooks' way of saying, "Of course there were no candy-grams back in the Old West." Yeah, we were sad to find that out too.

HEDLEY: A plan. A plan. We need a plan.

Hedley Lamarr is always the man with a plan. He doesn't have any real strength or physical skills, so he tries to use his cleverness to beat his adversaries. The only problem is that every time he has a plan, Bart has an even cleverer plan.

BART: I want you to get all the brothers together, round up all the lumber, canvas, paint and nails you can lay your hands on and meet me tonight three miles due east of Rock Ridge at midnight.

Yup, that's right. Bart's plan for outsmarting Hedley Lamarr is to build a complete replica of Rock Ridge for Hedley's men to attack. The plot ends up working too, as Hedley's men ride straight into the trap and end up getting blown to bits by the bombs Bart has planted in the fake town.

BUDDY: Cut! What in the hell do you think you're doing here? This is a closed set!

Just when you think Mel Brooks couldn't get any zanier, he pulls us completely out of his movie and has all of his actors take their on-screen fight onto other movie sets at Warner Brothers studios. The fighting eventually pulls in nearly everyone working at Warner Brothers and most of us are left scratching our heads and wondering how much crazier things will get.

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