I have never been an admirer of Mel Brooks, although I enjoyed Young Frankenstein when it came out a little over a year ago. To be sure, his oeuvre has included some hilarious moments—the "Springtime for Hitler" sequence in The Producers, for example—but these were practically buried beneath an indiscriminate flurry of flat jokes. As Pauline Kael has aptly noted, his films embody the spirit of gagwriting, not screenwriting. They do not work as cinematic comedies because they are essentially extended strings of raucous and vulgar one-liners, better suited to the nightclub floor than to the moviehouse….
Still, since my quarrel is with his style of verbal bombardment, I was...
(The entire section is 947 words.)