National Catholic Register

Blogs

Raisinet?

BY Simcha Fisher

| Posted 6/28/13 at 10:32 AM

 

Happy birthday to Mel Brooks!  I can't find documentation of it anywhere, but I have heard that when someone was fussing at Mel Brooks, maybe making demands that he would cut offensive scenes, or maybe asking him to explain himself, Brooks would just gaze blandly at him, pause for a moment while the words hung in the air, and then offer, " . . . Raisinet?" 

Sometimes, there's not really much else you can do.  This week has been rough.  After much thought about what I could possibly say at the end of a week like this, all I can offer you is, ". . . Raisinet?"

First off, something from the Master, Mel Brooks himself.  It was pretty hard choosing just one scene.  High Anxiety, Blazing Saddles, The Producers, and Young Frankenstein are among the greatest movies ever made.  I recently discovered that the "Puttin' On the Ritz" scene in Young Frankestein was Gene Wilder's idea, and that Mel Brooks thought it was a bridge too far.  He only filmed it to humor Wilder, and planned to cut it.  Then, when Brooks watched it, he realized it was probably the best scene in the whole film.  Here it is:  the scientist Frankenstein's scientific demonstration that he was able to reanimate dead matter -- and then some:

 

 

 

Switching gears a bit, let's visit Dr. Stranglove, in the moment where poor Captain Mandrake really begins the realize the gravity of his situation:

 

 

 

Switching gears dramatically, even catastrophically, here is a scene that absolutely slays me, and I don't even know why.  From Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II:

 

 

 

Just to class things up a bit, here's a scene from a multilingual film to give you a little international flavor.  From Top Secret:

 

 

 

Back home in America, ou can introduce you rkids to the brillliance of Steve Martin as he serves up some sparkling muscatel:

 

 

 

Basil Fawlty gets pushed a little too far:

 

 

 

And no collection of comedy clips that make you laugh until you drool would be complete without this magnificent moment in Army of Darkness:

 

 

 

Again, it was just about impossible to pick just one Marx Brothers scene, but here is one that will restore your faith in humanity:

 

 

 

And last but not least, the guy with the disturbing power to reduce me to a gargling, inarticulate heap, Mr. Bean: