Silent Movie

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  • From the guys who had nothing to do with silent movies...
Writers Charles Dickens
Producer Mel Brooks
Directors Gordon Brown, Mel Brooks
Runtime Eighty (80) minutes
Language English, Lunatic
Distributed by PBS
IMDb rating

Silent Movie is a 1976 comedy film spoofing old silent movies from the '20s and '30s, produced by the crew (except Mel Brooks) who would later go on to produce Scary Movie, Date Movie and the rest of that crap.


The movie opens in a bar where several drunks are singing Psalm 23 as loudly as they can, but because it's a silent movie, nobody can hear them. Amongst them is Bugger Eaton (Tom Cruise), who sneaks out before he is forced to pay for the drinks. Outside the bar, he meets Holly Busch (Paris Hilton), who snubs him, thinking him to be a barfly, and walks off after knocking Bugger out with a brick.

At the Sidebottom Movie Studio, studio-head Ramsay Q. Sidebottom (Silver the Hedgehog) is struggling to think of a good movie to put on the market. His secretary, Mae Southwest (Amy Winehouse), recommends Bugger, who has been looking for work at the studio for the last 23 years. Sidebottom accepts, and calls for Bugger, who rather than produce a good script, just keeps pretending that he's having a sugar-rush.

Bugger and Sidebottom set to work on making a movie completely out of the blue, and Bugger is shocked (or, at least, pretends to be shocked) when he finds that Holly is the movie starlet. As his attempts to shoot a Romantic comedy go in vain, two villains (Peter Knivesely, played by David Beckham, and Diego de Mafiosa, played by Steven Spielberg), watch with interest as Bugger's movie spirals out of control, and Peter has set his eyes on Holly, hoping to whisk her away, but gets a brick in his face.

During the lunch break, Holly feels sick and faints, whilst Bugger, Sidebottom and Mae rush around hysterically trying to find a doctor, unaware that Peter and Diego have carried off Holly and put her on board a train (stupid little buggers, aren't they?). Bugger finally notices after using ten minutes of screen-time to run at 60 mph, and pursues the train on a supercharged bicycle. Diego tries to stop Bugger, only to fall off the train and be crushed into a bloody pulp by a slow-moving tortoise.

As the train reaches a crossing, Bugger jumps on board with the aid of primitive movie effects, and carries Holly away, whilst Peter spends most of his time milking it. Just as Bugger and Holly make it off the train, there is a terrific crash as the train collides with the station, killing all on board, including Peter.

Still from the train crash scene

Sidebottom and Mae show up in a truck, and Bugger realises that the entire chase has been shot on film, and all it needs are a few intermittent shots of Bugger acting like an asshole. The movie becomes famous, and Holly tries to apologise to Bugger and run off with his money, only to get a brick in the face.


Compared to most movies done by the Scary Movie team, this movie did pretty well, but that was only because Mel Brooks was on the project, and also because Roger Ebert was having a heart operation when the movie came out, so he couldn't make a scathing attack on it.

Your Mom, however, wrote a 1,000-page review in USA Today, in which she claimed that Silent Movie was:

"...On the fringe of not-terribly-good to average. It's good in parts, and it isn't in other parts. If you like Laurel and Hardy, then you'll probably like it. If not, then don't see it..."

The movie made a total of $23,000,000,000 overall, making only a very slight profit, but still a profit nonetheless, which is why PBS made two crap sequels for it as a result.

Movie poster for Silent Movie


Movies and People Spoofed[edit]

  • Charlie Chaplin - Tom Cruise is wearing Chaplin's moustache-guard in Scene 6
  • Drawn Together - The theme music is Toot Braunstein's theme from this show
  • Runaway Train VII: Missouri Battlefield - Train-crash scenes and Buster Keaton


For those without comedic tastes, the so-called experts at Wikipedia have an article about Silent Movie.

Although Mel Brooks had left the team shortly afterwards, the Scary Movie crew made two sequels to Silent Movie in later years.

Silent Movie 2 was released three days later in 2006 to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the original Silent Movie, although this sequel just destroyed the whole concept of silent movies altogether.

Silent Movie 3 came out the following week in 2007, but was very poorly received, especially as nobody watched silent movies anymore, and so plans for a Silent Movie 4 were dropped in favour of the new Date Movie franchise.