Mel Brooks

  1. George Burns, Oh, God! 1977.      Scenarist Larry Gelbart created God and his newest apostle, a supermarket assistant-manager, for his old Sid Cesar writing cohorts: Mel Brooks and Woody Allen.

  2. Donald Pleasence, Halloween, 1978. 
    The Hitchcock fan auteur John Carpenter searched high and low for his shrink, Dr Sam Loomis. Peter O’Toole and the Hammer horrors, Peter Cushing, Christopher Lee versus Charles Napier, Lawrence Tierney, Abe Vigoda. The $300,00 shoestring budget couldn’t afford any of them! Same for Lloyd Bridges, David Carradine, Kirk Douglas, Steven Hill, Walter Matthau… even such off-the-wallers as John Belushi, Mel Brooks, Yul Brynner, Edward Bunker, Sterling Hayden, Dennis Hopper, Kris Kristofferson… and Dick’s brother, Jerry Van Dyke. Pleasence said he only made the film because his daughter told him to! She loved  Carpenter’s Assault on Precinct 13 He also told Carpenter he’d never read the script, nor Loomis. “Only later,” said Carpenter, “after [we] became close friends, did I realise he was finding out how much I loved the movie I was making.” Incidentally, Loomis was named after John Gavin’s Psycho character; his screen lover was Janet Leigh, mother of Carpenter’s heroine, Jamie Lee Curtis. So it flows.

  3. Chris Diamantopoulos, The Three Stooges, 2011.     Back in 1974, Brooks planned his own Stooges movie –  playing Moe opposite Marty Feldman and Dom DeLuise as Larry and Curly. (Some reports suggested  Brooks as Shemp). They switched to Silent Movie, 1975, because said Brooks: “It’s so hard to sustain a plot that could withstand their antics for that long.” Exactly!  It was obvious from the get-go that this Farrelly brothers project was a loser. They adored Moe & Co (hence their own far from subtle comedies) but there are just not that many fans of the Stooges – and their litefal slap-dash boinks, pokes, slaps, nyuk-nyuks and nyaaahhhs. 

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