History of the World: Part I

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Mel Brooks brings his one-of-a-kind comic touch to the history of mankind covering events from the Old Testament to the French Revolution in a series of episodic comedy vignettes.

Release Year: 1981

Rating: 6.6/10 (20,294 voted)

Director: Mel Brooks

Stars: Mel Brooks, Gregory Hines, Dom DeLuise

From the dawn of man to the distant future, mankind's evolution (or lack thereof) is traced. Often ridiculous but never serious, we learn the truth behind the Roman Emperor, we learn what REALLY happened at the Last Supper, the circumstances that surrounded the French Revolution, how to test eunuchs, and what kind of shoes the Spanish Inquisitor wore.

Mel Brooks - Moses / Comicus / Torquemada / Jacques / King Louis XVI
Dom DeLuise - Emperor Nero
Madeline Kahn - Empress Nympho
Harvey Korman - Count de Monet
Cloris Leachman - Madame Defarge
Ron Carey - Swiftus
Gregory Hines - Josephus
Pamela Stephenson - Mademoiselle Rimbaud
Shecky Greene - Marcus Vindictus
Sid Caesar - Chief Caveman
Mary-Margaret Humes - Miriam
Orson Welles - Narrator (voice)
Rudy De Luca - Prehistoric Man / Captain Mucus - The Roman Empire (as Rudy DeLuca)
Leigh French - Prehistoric Woman
Richard Karron - Prehistoric Man

Taglines: a little something to offend everyone...

Release Date: 12 June 1981

Filming Locations: Blenheim Palace, Woodstock, Oxfordshire, England, UK

Box Office Details

Budget: $11,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend: $4,792,731 (USA) (14 June 1981) (484 Screens)

Gross: $31,672,907 (USA)

Technical Specs

Runtime:  | Argentina:

Did You Know?

Mel Brooks came up with the name for this film because he was tired of people asking him what his next movie would be.

Continuity: In the beginning of the Roman Empire Segment, one of the running jokes was the use of a V in place of a U. It seems that great care was taken to do this on every sign. Except the Annual Orgy sign which has two Us on it that were not changed to Vs. U's are also visible on the "Equal Opportunity Employer" sign at the Unemployment Office.

Comicus: Have you heard of this new sect, the Christians? They are a laugh riot! First of all, they are so poor...
Swiftus: How poor are they?
Comicus: Thank you! They are so poor... that they only have *one* God!
[drumbeat, everyone laughs]
Comicus: But we Romans are rich. We've got a lot of gods. We've got a god for everything. The only thing we don't have a god for is premature ejaculation... but I hear that's coming quickly.

User Review

OK; What do you expect???


I'm kind of surprised at some of the reviews of this film. Mainly the "very poor" and "putrid" ones. This is Mel Brooks having the time of his life. The marketplace scene is hilarious. "Plumbing! Pump s**t right out of your house! Plumbing!

It's a wild romp through early history, with a few side steps into vaudeville and Broadway. I disagree that this film is not a classic. There are enough funny lines to quote out of this film to keep the average frat house laughing through three or four kegs of Bud.

"Boy, when you die at the palace, you REALLY die at the palace!"

Madeline (The Queen): "What happens to the slaves?"

Queen's Maid: "If they're captured, they're hung."

Madeline (The Queen): "Not necessarily."

So I suggest that you take of the Jeffrey Lyons face, sit down with some chips and brews, and watch this movie if you haven't already done so. Slapstick? You bet. Silly? Of course. As I asked before. It's Mel Brooks. What do you expect????



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