A lewd spoof of westerns and racial prejudice; enough laughs to cover the fact that it is, essentially, a stupid movie. Little is terrific as a black sheriff who has been hired so that the citizens of the town will panic and sell their land out cheap to speculators who plan to run a
railroad through town. When the village turns on Little, he must call on the jail's only con, Wilder, who was at one time the fastest gun in the West. Last fifteen minutes of the movie are an obvious cop-out and the humor is often toilet level, but in addition to Little, Kahn scores big (in a
takeoff of Marlene Dietrich's saloon belles), as do Karras and Korman. What really lessens SADDLES is that its intentions aren't clear. Its humor provoked no thinking; insensitive moviegoers assumed the racial put-downs and cowboy crudeness were deliberate. The public loved the film--it stands as
the highest grossing western in history--$45 million plus! But they loved it for all the wrong reasons.
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