Synopsis by Hal Erickson
Silent Movie is just that: a totally nonverbal comedy, save for one single line. Director Mel Brooks stars as a once-famous comedy director, who with his faithful assistants Dom DeLuise and Marty Feldman return to Hollywood with plans for a comeback. Brooks wants to return to the good old days by producing a silent movie (he explains this via subtitle). Producer Sid Caesar is agreeable, provided Brooks can line up top stars. In a series of vignettes better seen than described, Brooks persuades Burt Reynolds, Liza Minelli, Paul Newman, James Caan and Anne Bancroft (Brooks' real-life wife) to star in his project. The only holdout is mime Marcel Marceau, who after a few moments of walking against the wind shouts the film's solitary line: "No!" Meanwhile, the crooked executives of the Engulf and Devour conglomerate want to take over Caesar's studio and are worried that Brooks' film might be so huge a hit that Caesar won't be interested in selling. To prevent this, the conglomerate dispatches sexy Bernadette Peters to lure Brooks into drink and ruination. The film's climax is lifted from the 1943 Olsen and Johnson film Crazy House). Featured in brief comic cameos are Harry Ritz as the man with half a suit, Charlie Callas as the blind man, Dom DeLuise's wife, Carol Arthur, as the incredibly pregnant woman, Fritz Feld as the headwaiter (whose trademarked "Pop" is conveyed on a subtitle) and Henny Youngman as the diner with a fly in his soup. Co-writers Ron Clark, Rudy DeLuca and Barry Levinson also show up on screen as three of the Engulf & Devour minions.
comeback, film-director, silent-film, actor, alcoholism, girlfriend, chase, studio, takeover