Blazing Saddles
(Comedy) ( 1973)
© 2000 by Raymond Weschler
Major Characters Bart.........................Clevon Little A black railroad worker in the 1870s who is appointed sheriff (head police officer) of the town of Rock Ridge, Oklahoma. Jim ("The Waco Kid").........Gene Wilder A famous gunslinger (shooter) of the American West, who Bart finds in his jail as a sorry but loveable drunk man. Hedley Lamar.................Harvey Korman The corrupt Attorney General of the state who wants to find a way to scare the people of Rock Ridge from their homes so that he can take the land (An Attorney General is the most important law enforcement official in the federal or state government). Hedley is most frustrated by the fact that people call him "Hedy," like the famous 20th century actor. Taggert......................Slim Pickens A really stupid cowboy who tries to help Hedley with his evil plans. Lyle..........................Burton Gillian An even stupider cowboy who works for Taggert. Mongo.........................Alex Karras A mentally retarded but extremely sweet and strong man who works with Taggert and Lyle, but later decides to help Bart and Jim. Governor Le Petomane...........Mel Brooks The corrupt and stupid Governor of the state (A governor is a state’s top political leader). Lili Von Shtupp................Madeleine Kahn A very sexy German nightclub singer who agrees to help Hedley eliminate Bart from Rock Ridge. In Rock Ridge, it seems every person belongs to the Johnson family. Among the most notable family members are: Olson Johnson (The family leader)..........David Huddleston Howard Johnson (The family philosopher)....John Hileman Reverend Johnson (The family minister).....Liam Dunn Plot Summary Ultimately, Blazing Saddles is a very funny comedy about American racism. The story takes place in 1874, as a railroad is being built across the American West, near the town of Rock Ridge. This town is probably in the territory of Oklahoma, which later became a state. When Hedley Lamar finds out that the railroad will go through Rock Ridge, he tries to find a way to scare all the people from their homes, so that he can take control of the land. This is because land values will certainly rise as the railroad is built. His great plan is to send Bart to be the town sheriff since Hedley believes that people will be so offended by the idea of a black sheriff that they will all move away. In fact, Bart does face horrible racism when he first arrives, but little by little, and with the help of Jim, he gains the support of the people. Soon, Hedley is trying everything to destroy Rock Ridge, but Bart convinces the people that they must not leave, in order to fight the evil around them….. Some Words and Expressions that You May not Know Bart gets into trouble while working on the railroad. Blazing Saddles The title words are worth noting. If something is "blazing," it is hot and burning. "Saddles" are the leather seats used for riding horses. Song: He made his blazing saddle a torch to light the way…. A "torch" is a mass of burning material placed on top of a stick, which is usually carried in order to give light. Come on, boys! The most versatile phrasal verb in the English language, often meaning the exact words that follow. Here, a way to say "work harder." The way you’re lollygaging around here with those picks and shovels, you’d think it was 120 degrees. "To lollygag" is a rarely used verb meaning to sit around lazily while doing nothing. A "pick" is a pointed metal tool for digging. Dock that chink a day’s pay for napping on the job. "To dock" the pay of a worker is to refuse to pay them. A "chink" is a ridiculous and very racist word for a Chinese person. "To nap" is to sleep for a few minutes in order to get a rest. When you were slaves, you sang like birds; How about a good old nigger work song? An extremely ugly and racist word for black people. Song: I get no kick from champagne, and alcohol doesn’t thrill me at all, but I get a belt out of you…. To get "a kick" out of something is to enjoy it, and "to thrill" someone is to excite them ( "To get a belt out of" someone is similar to a kick, but it is no longer used). Hold it! What the hell is that shit? "Hold it" is one way to say "stop what you’re doing." Note that "the hell" is added to wh questions for emotional emphasis, and that "shit" can be used to refer to any particular thing or general situation. Song: De camp town ladies…. Note that some people will pronounce "the" as "de" (Not recommended!). What in the wide world of sports is going on here? "The Wide World of Sports" was a popular TV show in the 1970s. This sentence is ridiculous, though people do ask "What in the world is going on here?" when they want to add emotion to this basic question. I hired you people to get a little track laid, not to jump around like a bunch of Kansas City faggots! Note that a company "lays" railroad tracks. "Faggot" is an ugly insult word for a homosexual, though it is often used for comic effect, as here. Listen dummy, the surveyors said that we may run into some quicksand up ahead. You better check it out. "Dummy" is a gentle way to say stupid. A "surveyor" is a person who investigates the quality of land in an area. "Quicksand" is very loose soil that sucks in anything that tries to cross it. "Check it out" is another way to tell someone to investigate it. Is the world rising? "To rise" is to go up or ascend. Goddang, now we are in trouble. :: They in trouble…. A ridiculous and old fashioned way to say god damn it. Note that the verb to be is often dropped in black English dialects. Doggoned near lost a $400 handcart. "Doggoned" is another old-fashioned and ridiculous way to say damn. Take it easy, Charlie, my foot’s on the rail. A common way to say calm down. Down that canyon, I think it’s pretty level there. Another word for flat or even, with no part higher than the rest. We’ll put her right down there over that ridge. A "ridge" is a long and narrow series of peaks, such as mountain tops. Well boys, the break is over. In this context, a "break" is a short rest from working. Send a wire to the main office and tell them I said "ow." A "wire" is a way of referring to a communications telegram. "Ow" (rhymes with cow) is what you say when something hurts you. Hedley Lamar finds out about Rock Ridge and the railroad, and begins his plan of terrorizing the town. Quicksand, splendid. One of Lamar’s favorite words, meaning excellent or wonderful. Be still, Taggert; My mind is aglow with whirling transient nodes of thought...careening through a cosmic vapor of invention. If you tell someone to "be still," you’re telling them to not move. "Aglow" means lit up with bright light. The rest of the sentence is Lamar’s nonsense words describing the brilliant ideas in his head, though you should know that "to whirl" is to spin quickly in a circle, and a "node" is a physical connecting point. "To careen" is to move or bounce from one place to another in an uncontrolled manner, and a "cosmic vapor" is gas that dates back to the beginning of the universe. Ditto! :: Ditto? You provincial idiot. "Ditto" is a silly way to say that you agree with, or want to say, exactly what was just said (it is usually written and not spoken). A "provincial" person is one who is conservative and old-fashioned, and often unfamiliar with the world outside their own town or province. An "idiot" is a very common insult world for stupid. Sorry your worship, but I’ve got two men at home with the flu…and it’s utter chaos down here. "To worship" a person is to respect them like a great religious leader, but the phrase "your worship" is ridiculous and not used. "Utter chaos" is a way of saying absolute confusion or disorganization. This one is a doozey. A funny little slang word that refers to any thing or person that is worth commenting on. Clumsy fool. A useful adjective that is used for people who often drop things or get into accidents. It can also mean awkward. There might be a legal precedent! A "precedent" is action or decision in the past that can be used to make an argument in the present. An important word in law. Land snatching!; See snatching. Note that when you look up one word in a dictionary, it may tell you to "see" another word. "To snatch" is to quickly and forcefully take something from somebody else. Harvey versus the United States. This is the way legal cases are described. "Versus" means against. The only thing that stands between me and that property is the rightful owners. An expression referring to those who have a legal right to property. There must be some way of scaring them off, driving them out and getting rid of every human being alive. "To scare off" and "drive out" people from their property is to take actions that will force them to leave. "To get rid of" a person is a common way of saying to eliminate or do away with them. We’ll kill the first male born child in every household! :: Too Jewish. A "household" is simply a house or apartment where people live together. This is a reference to a story in the bible. I got it! While this often means "I understand," in this context it means "I know what we can do!" We’ll go riding into town, a whooping and a whopping every living thing that moves within an inch of its life. "To Whoop and whop" something is a ridiculous and dated way of saying to beat it up or attack it, while "within an inch of it’s life" means to do it until just before death. Except the woman folks, of course. :: You spare the women? "To spare" a person is to save them. No, we rape the shit out of them at the #6 dance later. A very crude and slang way of saying to do something with brutality. The phrase "beat the shit out of someone" is more common. Marvelous. Another word for great, excellent or fabulous. That uppity nigger went and hit me on the head with a shovel. "Uppity" is a colloquial word meaning arrogant or snobby. Consider it done, stout fellow. "Stout" is a formal word for strong or brave. "Fellow" is a British way to say guy. I couldn’t possibly fit him in until Monday; I’m booked solid. "To fit" a person into your schedule is to make time for them. To be "booked solid" is to be so busy that you have no free time. We’ll make Rock Ridge think it’s a chicken that got caught in a tractor’s nuts. A "tractor" is a truck with huge wheels that is used for pulling farm equipment across a field. "Nuts" is a slang word for testicles (or balls), and thus this sentence is totally ridiculous and makes no sense. Song: It was a town where people lived in harmony. People who live "in harmony" live peacefully together. Song: The town was always lively but never nasty or obscene. "Lively" is a good way to say socially active. "Nasty" is a fun word for sexually dirty or offensive and "obscene" is an important word that also refers to anything that is completely offensive. I don’t have to tell you what has been happening in our beloved town. "Beloved" means much loved or cherished. Sheriff murdered, crops burned, stores looted, people stampeded and cattle raped. "Crops" are the foods that farmers crow, such as wheat and corn. A store that has been "looted" has been attacked by a violent group of people that steal everything in it. A "stampede" is a large group of running animals, such as "cattle," which is a plural word for cows. Get back here, you old pious candy-assed sidewinder. "Pious" means deeply religious. "Candy-assed sidewinder" are nonsense words, though a "sidewinder" is a type of snake. No sidewinder, bushwhacking, hornswoggling cracker crocker is going to ruin my biscuit cutter. More useless nonsense words, though you should know that "to ruin" means to destroy and that a "biscuit" is a type of cookie or cracker. We’re all indebted to Gabby Johnson for clearly stating what needed to be said. To be "indebted" to a person is to owe them something for having done a great service. Not only was it authentic frontier gibberish, but it expressed a courage little seen in this day and age. "Authentic" means genuine or real. "Frontier" refers to recently settled areas of the country where there are not yet cities. "Gibberish" is a good word to describe other words that are nonsensical or have no meaning. Our fathers came across the prairie, fought Indians, fought drought, fought locusts, fought Dix. The "prairie" refers to open and flat land with no cities. "Drought" is a long period of dry weather when there is no rain, and locusts are insects that attack food crops in flying groups (swarms) that number millions at a time. Here, "Dix" is just a proper name. We didn’t give up then, and by gum, were not going to give up now. "To give up" is a critical phrasal verb meaning to surrender, or stop trying. "By gum" is ridiculous and never used, though you might say "by god," which is another possible way of saying "damn it." I’m not giving up my ice cream parlor that I built with these two hands for nothing or nobody. A local store for selling something in particular, like ice cream or pizza. Why don’t we wire the governor to send us a sheriff? "To wire" is the verb to use when you send a telegram. Will the congregation please rise? A "congregation" is a group of people who attend the same church. I shall read from the book of Matthew, Mark, Luke and…….duck! The first three names are major figures in the Christian bible, but "duck!" is a way of telling someone to get down and hide on the floor. Hedley convinces the Governor to send a black sheriff to Rock Ridge. What the hell is it? A common addition to wh questions in order to show emotions such as anger or surprise. Under the provisions of this bill, we would snatch 200,000 acres of Indian territory, which we have deemed unsafe for their use at this time. "Provisions" are legal conditions or details, and a "bill" is an important word for a proposed law. "To snatch" is to steal or take quickly from someone, and "deemed" is an official word for thought or decided. They’ll never go for it! This is a colloquial way of saying to believe it. The little red devils, they love toys. A ridiculous way of referring to Native American Indians. These things are defective. A useful word which means broken, faulty or not functioning well. This is the bill that will convert the state hospital for the insane into the William J. Le Petomane memorial gambling casino for the insane. To "convert" an object is to change it from one thing into another. "Insane" means crazy, and a "casino" is a building where people gamble, usually with games involving cards, such as poker. This is 1874; You’ll be able to sue her. "To sue" a person is to file a legal claim against them in a court of law, usually for money. Suing people is a popular American hobby. This urgent telegram from Rockridge. "Urgent" means very important, and requiring immediate attention. "Sheriff murdered. Church meeting bombed. Reign of terror must cease." A "reign of terror" is a period of great fear, often caused by the murderous actions of a government. "To cease" something is to stop it. Holy underwear! Innocent women and children blown to bits! "Holy" means godly or sacred, but the expression "holy underwear" is both ridiculous and never used (although "holy shit" is used). If a person is "blown to bits," their bodies are torn into lots of little pieces. We’ve got to protect our phony-baloney jobs. "Phony" means fake or not real, and "baloney" is a type of processed meat. A silly and rare adjectival expression. "hurumph" A silly word used in this movie for expressing anger or other emotion. You watch your ass! One way to say that you should be careful. Gentlemen, please, rest your sphincters. "Sphincters" are the muscles in a person’s butt or ass. A totally ridiculous way to tell a person to relax. Well put! A good way of telling someone that what they just said was well expressed. As Attorney General, I can assure you that a suitable sheriff will be found to restore the peace in Rock Ridge. An "Attorney General" is the highest law enforcement official in the Federal or State government. "Suitable" is another word for appropriate, proper or correct. "To restore" something is to bring it back to its past condition (because it was better in the past). Meeting is adjourned. A very official way of saying finished, or completed. I’m sorry; I didn’t mean to overstep my bounds. "To overstep one’s bounds" is to act in a manner that is too presumptuous or arrogant (Bounds is another word for borders). Why don’t you give these out to some of the boys in lieu of pay? "In lieu of" is another way of saying instead of. This frigging thing is warped. "Frigging" is a gentler adjective than fucking, for those who do not want to be so vulgar. "Warped" means bent or twisted out of shape. Law and order is the last thing I want. A set expression that means peace and social stability. A sheriff that so offends the citizens of Rock Ridge that his very appearance would drive them out of town. To "drive a person out of town" is to force them to leave. Welcome to Hanging House; Not to worry---everyone is equal in my eyes. A grammatically curious expression that simply means "Don’t worry." Is it important? :: It’s very crucial. A useful word that means extremely important or critical. I’d be delighted. A good word for very happy or perhaps enthusiastic. Have you gone berserk?! Can’t you see that man is a nig….? "To go berserk" is to become crazy or insane. No offense intended. What you would say to a person if you’re afraid you insulted them. Haven’t you taken a giant leap away from your good senses? A "leap" is big jump, and "good senses" refers to common sense or good judgement. Please, don’t fly off the handle, Sir. If somebody "flies off the handle," they became explosively angry. A cabinet post. A reference to the top offices that assist the President of the United States, including Secretary of State and Secretary of Defense. Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln. Three of the most important Presidents in US history. Sir, you have the seeds of greatness in you. Nurse them, caress them… "To nurse" something is to help bring it back to good health. "To caress" something is to pet or stroke it gently, or lovingly. Don’t shortchange yourself! In this context, a way of saying "Don’t underestimate what you can do." One day is all we’ll need to secure your name in the annals of Western history! An official text of recorded history. It could lead to a nomination, for, dare I say?…. A "nomination" is the official endorsement of a party to run for elected office. "Dare I say…?" is a poetic way of asking yourself if you have the courage to say something. Hail to the Chief! This is the name of the song that bands play when the President of the United States arrives at an event. Four score and seven years ago…. The first words of a famous speech by Lincoln. A "score" is 20 years. Gentlemen, affairs of state must take precedent over….affairs of state. A cute play on words; "Affairs of state" refers to government business, though here it also means the sexual affairs of a person within the government. "To take precedent over" is to be more important than. I will make all the arrangements, especially the funeral. One way of saying to take care of all the organizational details. Bart arrives in Rock Ridge to a less than enthusiastic welcome, and soon meets the legendary Waco Kid. The sheriff will be here at noon! I better rehearse my speech. "To rehearse" a speech or acting role is to practice it. As honorary chairman of the welcoming committee, it is my privilege to extend to you a laurel…and a hardy handshake. A "laurel" is a tiny tree that is given to people as a gift or honor, while "hardy" means strong or vigorous. But note the play on words; Laurel and Hardy were a famous comedy team from the early days of film. Strike up the band! A way of telling a band to begin to play music. Excuse me while I whip this out! "To whip out" something is a dramatic way of simply saying to take it out, as in the act of taking a wallet out of your pocket. By the power vested in me…….I hearby assume the duties of the office of the sheriff of the township of Rock Ridge. Power that is "vested" in a person is officially granted to them. "Hearby" is an official way of saying therefore. As your spiritual leader, I implore you to pay heed to this good book and what it has to say. "To implore" a person is to beg them or ask them passionately. "To heed" advice is to obey and accept it. Son, you’re on your own. One way of saying "There is nothing I can do for you." Hold it men, he’s not bluffing. "Hold it" is a common way of saying stop it. "To bluff" is to pretend that you are going to do something when you really do not intend to. Hush, Harriet! That’s a sure way to get him killed. "Hush!" is a way of telling a person to be quiet. I said "order!" :: Nietzsche says "out of chaos, comes order." When yelled at a meeting, "order" is a way of saying everyone should be quiet. Nietzsche was a famous German philosopher, and "chaos" is the state of extreme confusion and disorder. Blow it out your ass, Howard! An extremely vulgar insult, which basically means shut up or fuck you, depending on the context. Listen to our esteemed school mom, as she reads a telegram that she herself has composed to the governor. "Esteemed" is an official word for very well respected. "To compose" a letter is another way of saying to write it. We, the white God-fearing citizens of Rock Ridge…. For some reason, racist Americans often say that they’re afraid of God. The fact that you have sent him just goes to prove that you are the leading asshole in the state. One of the great vulgar insult words, meaning jerk, idiot, creep, etc… Are we awake? : We’re not sure; Are we black? Note the use of "the royal we," which some people use to show a light attitude. Then we’re awake, but were very puzzled. Another way to say confused or perplexed. What do you like to do? :: Play chess, screw. A classic colloquial verb meaning to have sex. Checkmate. The word that a player says after he captures the king in chess. You devious son of a bitch. "Devious" means slightly dishonest, or crafty. "Son of a bitch" is a very common and vulgar term for a mean or abusive man. Well, if you must pry... "To pry" into the affairs of others is to try and learn about their personal life. The Waco Kid; He had the fastest hands in the West. A way that people in the old West referred to those who could shoot guns with great speed and accuracy. Steady as a rock. An expression that means stable, or in this case, without shaking. You were just pulling my lariat. A "lariat" is a lasso, or rope for controlling animals, but this word is never used. "To pull someone’s legs" means to tease, or lie to them. When I say "go," you try to grab it first. A useful verb meaning to take quickly and forcefully. Well raise my rent; You are the kid. In this case, "raise my rent" is Bart’s ridiculous way of saying "that truly is amazing." It got so that every piss-ant prairie punk who thought he could shoot a gun would ride into town to try out the Waco kid. "Piss-ant" is an interesting adjective meaning unimportant or small. A "punk" is a bully or aggressive young person, and in this context, to "try out" the kid is to test him, to see if he’s really so fast with a gun. Cecile B. Demille. A famous movie producer and director in the years after World War 2. It got pretty gritty; I started to hear the word draw in my sleep. "Gritty" means filled with tiny coarse stones, though here it is used to mean unpleasant. "To draw" a gun is to reach for it and shoot it. I spun around. Note the past tense of spin, meaning to turn around in a circle. The little bastard shot me in the ass! "Bastard" is a very common and vulgar word for a mean or abusive man. Your "ass," is, of course, your butt, rear end, derriere, etc… So I limped to the nearest saloon, crawled inside a whiskey bottle, and I’ve been there ever since. "To limp" is to walk unevenly or with great difficulty, a "saloon" is a bar, and "to crawl" is to move on your hands and knees, like a baby. This is Jim’s explanation for how he started to drink so much liquor. What’s a dazzling urbanite like you doing in a rustic settling like this? A "dazzling urbanite" is a charismatic or fascinating city person, and a "rustic setting" is a country environment away from the big city. Note that a great cliché is "What’s a girl like you doing in a place like this?" My folks and I were part of the long wagon train heading west. "Folks" is an old word that is still used to mean both parents and people. A "wagon train" was a series of horse-pulled wagons or vehicles that brought settlers from the Eastern states into the West. We were bringing up the rear. "To bring up the rear" is to be the last car or wagon in a line. Suddenly, out of the West came the entire Sioux nation. The "Sioux" were a powerful and well known Native American tribe. Shvartzes. This is an old Jewish (Yiddish) word that means black. Impressed? Always like to keep my audience riveted. To "rivet" an audience is to keep them fascinated or mesmerized. Taggert sends Mongo to destroy the town, but Bart successfully fight back. Mongo?! Holy shit, that’s too cruel! "Holy shit" is a truly interesting way to express strong emotion such as surprise or amazement. I’ll be danged; that is a unique idea. "I’ll be danged" is an old and silly way to express surprise or interest. "Unique" is an important word meaning one of a kind. How would you like to mutilate that new sheriff? "To mutilate" a person is a violent verb meaning to tear away parts of their body, such as their arms or legs. It was addressed to the deputy spade. The "deputy sheriff" is the police officer just under the sheriff. A "spade" is both one of the four symbols used in playing cards and an old and no longer used racial insult for black people. Once I establish myself in this hear town, deputy spade might turn out to be a groovy position. "To turn out" is an important phrasal verb meaning to become, end up or conclude (as in a story or movie). "Groovy" is dated slang word from the 1960s meaning good, excellent or more colloquially, cool. You can’t win these people over no matter what you do. "To win over" a person is to get them to like you, or perhaps to convince them of your point of view. I’m glad those fingers aren’t loaded. "Glad" means satisfied or happy. Note that one "loads" a gun with bullets (but not fingers). Catch you later. A colloquial way of saying "see you later." Up yours, nigger. A vulgar and relatively uncommon way of saying "fuck you." These are people of the land, the common clay of the new West. You know...morons. One of Jim’s great lines; "The common clay of the new west" is his way of referring to the common people settling the western frontier (Clay is a type of material used to make pottery). A "moron" is a funny insult to describe a stupid person which is similar to idiot or jerk. Louis Pasteur has devised a new vaccine that will obliterate anthrax once and for all. "To devise" is to create or invent, and a "vaccine" is a medicine that prevents disease. "To obliterate" is to destroy, and "anthrax" is a type of disease that kills cows and other animals. Hoof and mouth disease, a thing of the past. Another animal disease ( a "hoof" is the foot of animals such as cows). Never mind that shit, here comes Mongo! A way of telling a person to forget or not worry about what was just said. He’s breaking up the whole town. "To break up" something can mean to destroy it, though this is rare. Candygram for Mongo. :: Mongo like candy. A "candygram" is a gift of candy sent by messenger. Note the bad grammar in the second sentence, which is one of the film’s great lines. I thought Mongo would just mash him up into little bitsy sheriff meatballs. "To mash up" something is to crush or ground it into tiny pieces. "Little bitsy" is a child’s way of saying tiny or very small. Lamar sends Lily Von Shtupp to seduce Bart, but once again, Bart successfully fights back. My mind is a raging torrent flooded with rivulets of thought, cascading into a waterfall of creative alternatives. One of Lamar’s nonsense sentences, in this case meaning he has lots of good ideas. A "raging torrent" is enormous amounts of falling water, while a "rivulet" is a rare word for a tiny river or stream. "To cascade" is to fall from one level to another, like water in a waterfall. You use your tongue prettier than a $20 whore. A "whore" is a crude word for a prostitute. Another great but ridiculous line. Shitkicker. A never used insult word meaning asshole or jerk. Elementary, cactus head. In this context, "elementary" is a way of saying simple or easy. A "cactus" is a common desert plant, but this expression is never used. The beast has failed….it’s time to call in beauty. A "beast" is a large and often dangerous animal, or a brutal or cruel person. "To call in" a person is to invite them in. She’ll turn him into jelly. One way of saying she’ll make him weak and unlikely to fight back (Jelly is a type of fruit topping that one puts on bread). Froggie. Ribbet. Children will call frogs "froggies," and "ribbet" is the sound frogs make. I hope this apple pie will thank you in some small way for your ingenuity and courage in defeating that terrible Mongo. "Ingenuity" is a good word for intelligence or clever thinking. Thank you. Much obliged. An old-fashioned but still used way of telling a person you’re grateful or appreciative for what they have done. I’m rapidly becoming a big underground success in this town. An "underground success" is a person who has become successful despite the fact that the general public is not aware that this is the case. Lili Von Shtupp: The Teutonic Titwillow. "Teutonic" is an official word for German, and a "titwillow" is a nonsense word (though tit is a crude slang term for female breasts and a willow is a type of small tree). I can’t find the words to express my joy at the rekindling of our association. "To rekindle" a relationship is to start it up again, or literally to get flames to rise from a dying fire. Bullshit; What’s the job? A vulgar but classic word to refer to nonsense, lies, half-truths, etc…. I love it when you talk dirty. This is usually a reference to the language spoken by two people having sex ("fuck me, baby", etc… is often referred to as "pillow talk"). Let’s get down to the brass tacks. An old expression meaning to talk about the actual details of a plan. I want you to seduce and abandon the sheriff of Rock Ridge. "To seduce" a person is to sexually or romantically attract them. "To abandon" a person is to leave them, especially if they need you. Is Bismarck a herring? :: Oh Lily, you’re magnificent. A "herring" is a type of small fish that is popular in German and Jewish cuisine (and Bismarck is a famous brand of herring). "Magnificent" is another way to say fabulous, great or excellent. The gal you’ve all been waiting for, the Bavarian bombshell herself…. A "gal" is a girl or woman. A "Bavarian bombshell" is a slangy way of describing a sexy woman from Bavaria, which is a part of Germany. Let’s hear it for Lily Von Schtupp! This is a way of asking an audience to clap or applaud an entertainer. It’s worth nothing that "schtupp" means to fuck in German. Song: Stage door Johnnies always surround me, they always hound me… "To hound" a person is to continually bother them. Song: They’re always coming and going and going and coming…and always too soon… A good play on words; Remember that "to come" is a popular way of saying to have an orgasm (though it’s often spelled to ‘cum’). Are you in show business? :: Then why don’t you get your frigging feet off the stage…. "Frigging" is a gentler alternative to the adjective fucking. Is that a 10 gallon hat, or are you just enjoying the show? A big and tall hat, and perhaps one that’s shaped like a penis! Song: Give her a break! She’s bushed….don’t you know she’s pooped? "To give somebody a break" is to give them an opportunity, or in this case, just a chance to rest. "Bushed" and "pooped" are slang words that mean extremely tire or exhausted. Everything below the waist is kaput! A German word for broken. Lily’s way of saying she is tired of sex. Far out! A 1960s expression which means good, great or more colloquially, cool. Excuse me, while I slip into something a little more comfortable. A classic line that women say when they want to put on clothes that men would consider very sexy. I feel refreshed. "Refreshed" means clean, rested or renewed with energy. He’s like wet sauerkraut in my hands. A German food made of cabbage. Lily’s way of saying that she can seduce Bart and do anything she wants with him. Is it true what they say about how you people are gifted? "Gifted" can mean very talented or skilled. 15 is my limit on schnitzenbruben. A German word for a sausage or hot dog. I’ve got some heavy chores to do. A useful word for regular duties or tasks around the house, like cleaning the clothes, cutting the grass, etc… Will I say you later? :: It all depends on how much Vitamin E I can get my hands on. Note that in the 1970s, some men thought that Vitamin E was a way to improve sexual performance. You’re making a German spectacle of yourself. A "spectacle" is a public display or show, and thus to make a spectacle of yourself is to make a fool of yourself. Oh dear, look what the cat dragged in. A set expression that one will use when a member of the house comes home drunk. "To drag" something is to pull it on the ground. Hedley Lamar gathers every evil person in the West in one last attempt to destroy the people of Rock Ridge. I’ve got a writ here for Mango’s release, and it’s signed by Hedley Lamar himself. A "writ" is a legal document signed by a judge which orders people to do various things, in this case ordering Bart to let Mongo out of jail. Why would a dude like Hedley Lamar care about Mongo? A slangy word for guy that has become increasingly popular. Those schnitzengrubers can wipe you out. "To wipe out" a person is to destroy them, or here, to exhaust them. Sheriff first man ever whip Mongo. In this case, "to whip" means to defeat. Note Mongo’s charming grammar, including the dropping of the verb to be. Better watch out big fella; I think Mango ‘s taken a little fancy to you. "Fellow" (fella) is a British way of saying guy. "To take a fancy" to someone is an old-fashioned way of saying to like them. Mongo straight. "Straight" is a colloquial term for heterosexual, or specifically, not gay. Why is a high roller like Hedley Lamar interested in the railroad? A slang term for a rich or powerful person, especially a gambler. Got to do with where choo choo go. A child’s word for a train (based on the sound a train makes). Mongo only pawn in game of life. A pawn is the weakest piece in chess, and often a weak and easily used person. This is Mongo’s philosophical analysis of his own life. I think this might be a good time to mosey out where they’re building the railroad and maybe do a little snooping. "To mosey out" is a fairly rare way of saying to go in a relaxed manner. "To snoop" means to investigate, especially into the private affairs of other people who would prefer that you wouldn’t. You shifty nigger; They said you were hung! "Shifty" is a slang word meaning tricky or dishonest. Note that the past participle of the verb "to hang" is hung. Look at that star! Civil Service! The affectionate term for employment in a government job. Holy mother of pearl; It’s the nigger that hit me over the head with a shovel. A nonsensical expression to show great anger. Say "holy shit" instead. Watch that "boy" shit, redneck. You’re talking to the sheriff of Rock Ridge. "Boy" was a word that racist people used to use when addressing black men. "Redneck" is an insult word that generally describes an uneducated white person, often from a small town. If that don’t beat all; We take the good time and trouble to slaughter every last Indian in the West… "If that don’t beat all" is another way for Taggert to express frustration. "To slaughter" means to violently kill many people at the same time. Would that pep you up some? "Pep" is a good slang word for energy. On the count of three. What one says before counting one-two-three at the start of a race. Don’t just sit there looking stupid, grasping your hands in pain. "To grasp" something is to hold it tightly. I’m through being Mr. Goodbar. A silly reference to the 1970s novel "Looking for Mr. Goodbar." All of my plans have backfired. When a plan "backfires," it turns into the opposite of what was hoped. People are staying in droves. When people do something "in droves," this means that huge numbers of people are doing it. A set expression is to "leave in droves." Shut up, you Teutonic twat. A rarely used silly insult word for a stupid person. An army of the worst dregs ever to soil the face of the West. "Dregs" are the worst people in a society, including its murderers and thieves. "To soil" something is to make it dirty or corrupted. I’ve decided to launch an attack that will reduce Rock Ridge to ashes. "Ashes" are the soft gray powder that remains after a fire. I want you to round up every vicious criminal and gunslinger in the west. "To round up" a group of people is to bring them together in the same place. "Vicious" is a powerful adjective meaning extremely cruel. A "gunslinger" is an old word for a person who fights with guns. Take this down. One way to say "write what I am about say." I want rustlers, cut throats, murderers, bounty hunters, desperados, mugs, pugs, thugs, nitwits, halfwits, dimwits, vipers, snipers, con men, Indian agents, Mexican bandits, muggers, buggers, bushwhackers, hornswagglers, train robbers, shit kickers and Methodists. Perhaps the greatest list of bad people in the history of film! Among those that you should know: Rustlers.......................People who steals cows Cut throats....................People who are willing to do anything to win. Bounty hunters.................People who try to capture wanted criminals. Mugs, pugs, thugs..............Aggressive and dangerous people. Nitwits, halfwits, dimwits.....Stupid people. Vipers.........................Snakes. Con men........................People who trick others in order to get their money. Muggers........................People who physically attack others to get money. Methodists. A denomination (or division) in the Christian church. Can’t you see that’s the last act of a desperate man? :: We don’t care if it’s the first act of Henry the 5th---we’re leaving. A clever play on words; Note that an "act" is both an action and a separate part or chapter in a play. Give me 24 hours to come up with a brilliant idea to save out town. "To come up" with a plan is to create one, and "brilliant" is a good adjective which means extremely intelligent or clever. Qualifications? :: Rape, murder, arson and rape. "Qualifications" for a job are the skills that one has which would allow them to do a job. "Arson" is the act of setting fire to a building. Take that badge. A piece of metal worn to show a person’s job, level, etc, Arson, armed robbery, mayhem. "Armed robbery" refers to the act of stealing while using a weapon such as a gun. "Mayhem" is a legal term which means the cruel attacking of a person which leads to permanent injury. Boy, is he strict. An important word which describes any person who enforces rules with extreme seriousness. Often used for teachers. Badges? We don’t need no stinking badges. If something "stinks," it smells very bad. This is a famous line from the movie "Treasure of the Sierra Madre" Stampeding cattle...through the Vatican. :: Kinky. "To stampede cattle" is to make many cows run through an an area. "The Vatican" is the place in Rome, Italy where the Catholic Church is based. "Kinky" means sexually strange or odd. How many times have I told you to wash up after weekly cross burnings? "Cross burnings" were the setting on fire of Christian crosses, usually done by the KKK, a horribly racist and violent group in US history. And now for my next impression----Jesse Owens. A famous black athlete who won four gold medals in running during the 1936 Berlin Olympics. We’ll head them off at the pass! :: I hate that cliché. "To head a person off at the pass" is to meet up and attack them. A "cliché" is an expression that is used so often that it becomes tiresome. Bart organizes the great counterattack against Lamar’s army of evil. I want you to get all the brothers together. Black men will often refer to other black men as brothers. Round up all the lumber, canvas, paint and nails you can lay your hands on. "To round up" things is to bring them together. "Lumber" is wood, "canvas" is a board for painting, and "nails" are the pointed pieces of metal that are hammered into wood. To "lay one’s hands" on something is to take or obtain it. I know you’re a bit confused. :: You bet your ass! In this context, a slangy way of saying "you’re damn right!" I’m hip. An old fashioned way of saying good, or more colloquially, cool. Were going to build on this site…an exact replica of the town of Rock Ridge. A close copy or imitation. Every building...right down to the orange roof of Howard Johnson’s outhouse. "Right down to" is one way to say "including." An "outhouse" is a toilet in a small shack, usually found in the yards of poor people. I get it! A very common way of saying to understand. They’ll think it’s the real Rock Ridge, but we’ll know it’s the fake Rock Ridge! A "fake" of anything is an imitation of it. It is false or not real. All they ask in return is a little plot of land that they can call their own homestead. A " plot" of land is a piece of land, and a "homestead" is a legal term for a piece of land that a person owns. Ok, we’ll give some land to the niggers and the chinks, but we don’t want the Irish! A truly funny and ridiculous line that shows how many types of racism have existed in the US. In some areas, the Irish were as victimized by racism as the blacks and Chinese. Ah prairie shit, everybody…. "Prairie shit" is an interesting variation of horseshit or bullshit. Do we have the strength to carry out this mighty task in one night?…. "To carry out" something is simply to do it. A "mighty task" is a big and difficult job or assignment. …or are we just jerking off? :: Amen. "To jerk off" is a classic phrasal verb meaning to masturbate. "Amen" is the word with which Christians end their prayers. Men, you’re about to embark on a great crusade, to stamp out runaway decency in the West. "To embark on a great crusade" is to begin a great mission or historic quest or goal. "To stamp out" something is to kill it or crush it. "Runaway decency" is a ridiculous expression that means great amounts of goodness or morality. Raise your right hand for the pledge. A "pledge" is a legal or solemn promise to do something in the future. Schmucks. A funny insult word meaning jerk, idiot, ass, etc… Now go do that voodoo that you do so well. A religion which is known for it’s use of strange magic. Everything is here down to the last hitching post. A pole that was used to keep horses tied up. You men start working on the dummies. In this case, an object that is designed to look like a human being. I’ve got an idea that will slow them down to a crawl. The act of moving on your hands and knees, like a baby. Thruway. A freeway that cars must pay to be able to drive on. Somebody has got to go back and get a shitload of dimes. A "shitload" is a huge amount, and "dimes" are ten cent coins. Look at this! They’re buying it! "To buy it" is a colloquial way of saying to believe it. Hold your ears folks; It’s show time. A set expression meaning it is time for the real excitement to begin. You think you could squeeze off a little shot from here. In this case, to carefully aim and shoot a gun. It’s a fake; we’ve been suckered in! "To be suckered in" is to be fooled, or taken advantage of. OK, let’s wipe them out! "To wipe out" a person is to kill or destroy them. The Great American West becomes...something else. Song: "Throw out your hands, stick out your tush, hands on your hips, give them a push, voila!" "Tush" is another word for ass, behind, derriere, etc. "Voila" is a French word that can mean "there you go." All right, cut! The verb that movie directors use when they want to stop filming. You sissy Marys; You watch me, faggots! "Sissy" is an insulting slang word for a homosexual or feminine man. "Faggots" is a crude term for a male homosexual. This is a closed set! A movie "set" is a studio where a movie is actually shot, and if the set is closed, this means that no one is allowed to watch the movie being made. Piss on you, I’m working for Mel Brooks! A silly alternative to fuck you. Mel Brooks is the director of this movie. You vulgar shit! Why you miserable pansy! A "vulgar shit" is a crude asshole or jerk. "Miserable" means extremely unhappy, though when used with an insult, it just means horrible. A "pansy" is a silly slang word for a male homosexual. I’m parked over by the commissary. A cafeteria where people who work for the same company can eat. You brute, you brute, you vicious brute! "Viscous" means very cruel, and a "brute" is a cruel or brutal person. They lose me right after the bunker scene. A reference to the fact that Hitler died in his bunker, which is an underground space designed to protect people against bombs. And now we’ll go to the special effects department. "Special effects" are the scenes in movies that appear to be almost magical due to the use of various forms of technology. Are you kidding? :: Pain in the ass. "To kid" is to lie or say something that you are not serious about. A "pain in the ass" is a person who causes problems. All right, we’ll settle it like men, with our fists. "To settle" an argument is to determine who is right, or perhaps more powerful. "Fists" are hands with fingers closed tightly, often for fighting. How did he do such fantastic stunts with such little feet? "Stunts" are dangerous acts of great skill, that are often filmed for a movie (such as jumping from the top of a building). Let’s check out the end of the flick. "To check out" something is to see or look at it. A "flick" is a movie. I’m needed wherever outlaws rule the west… wherever people cry out for justice. :: Bullshit! "Outlaws" are criminals. "Bullshit" is the classic vulgar word used to describe nonsense, lies, etc. To speak the plain truth is getting pretty darn dull around here. "Darn" is another word for damn, and "dull" means boring. Where are you headed, cowboy? :: Nowhere special. To be "headed" someplace is to be going in that direction.
Blazing Saddles Possible Topics for ESL Class Discussion
1. Is the American experience with racism any worse than with other countries in the world? 2. Do immigrants, blacks and other minorities face the same problems they faced in 1874? 3. What, if anything, did you find offensive about this movie? 4. What were the funniest scenes or lines in the film? 5. Does the settling of the American West interest you? Why or why not? Is it a part of history that is known about in your country? 6. Are "Westerns" a type of movie that are popular in your country?