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Critique of Soul Plane and Blazing Saddles


The purpose of this essay is to study the movies Soul Plane and Blazing Saddles and give their outlines with the critique of stereotypes engaged in both films. It discusses the moral of each story and the major differences between the two movies. The essay makes a conclusion about the choice of film for youth.


Blazing Saddles

The film is a parody of old western with a typical plot about a good person fighting with a gang. An official Lamarr wants to build a railroad that may bring him a lot of money. The road has to go through the Rock Ridge town, whose citizens do not want to abandon it. Therefore, Lamarr decides to hire a gang to terrorize the town and make people leave their homes. Being frightened, people demand to appoint a new sheriff who can protect them and deal with the gang. Then, Lamarr decides to choose Bart because he is black, and consequently the towners will definitely not accept him.

However, Bart manages to overcome hostile reception and even gains significant support from the locals. The new sheriff persuades the people to accept into their community black and Chinese railroad workers who simultaneously can help the town to fight the villains.

The use of the N-word contributed to telling the story as it is a humiliating word and when used it shows the ways the black people are treated. The N-word is used 17 times in the movie. Moreover, in the beginning, Bart is called a nigger to demonstrate that he is an inferior railroad worker. The situation makes a point highlighting why the word should not be used.

The heroes of the movie were portrayed with huge irony and sarcasm. Exaggeration and goofy performances clearly distinguish this film and its characters. The director portrays the main hero Bart as a witty man while showing his antagonists as stupid villains who do not respond to the image of a good person. Hence, I felt sympathetic to the main hero Bart and absolutely condemned his controversial character Taggart. At every turn, Bart resolves a situation and finds a way to overcome difficulties making the best out of it. Furthermore, he disapproves of many stereotypes and makes the irony of the film rather sharp. Conversely, Taggart is a flunky stereotype of a stupid person who opposes a witty man.

On the whole, the film consists of various stereotypes including that a black man cannot be in charge of the town where white people live. It is a negative stereotype that attributes specific characteristics to the people of a certain race, however, it helps to tell the story as the film ridicules those stereotypes and shows how ludicrous the society can be propagating racist views.

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Soul Plane

The plot of Soul Planes is also firmly based on stereotypes. After a series of accidents with airlines, Nashawn Wade decides to launch his own airline company. When his dog dies because of a terrible mistake made by the airline, Wade sues the company and gets a large sum of money as a refund. Using this money he creates NWA Airline Company that is intended to serve only black people. The company uses a modified plane with lots of adjustments to it. However, a number of comic situations and problems appear starting with a captain who has never flown and has been afraid of height.

Furthermore, the film mentions N-word quite often. However, it seems to be used just for the sake of using it and does not have any peculiar meaning. It depicts the people eager to belong to some kind of cast as the stereotypes present it.

None of the characters of the movie has any hidden meaning because they are superficially portrayed. For example, the only Middle-Easter is involved to put a portion of terrorist humor on him. The roles of other characters aim to show all possible stereotypes regarding black people. However, white heroes are not attractive either. I did not like the hero of Tom Arnold who played the role of Hunkee’s father. He is as obnoxious and irritating as any stereotypical father can be. The villain of the movie is Captain Mack who almost crashes the plane after eating poisonous mushrooms. His character is problematic with many phobias and seems a weak insecure man completely fitting the stereotypes.

In conclusion, racial stereotypes have abounded in the film are quite offensive. Every black character is a portrayal of a stereotype associated with the negative aspects that black people struggle to overcome. These stereotypes do not contribute to telling the story here as the film basically has no plot. It propagates racism and shows black people as crazy perverts, addicted to drugs and sex.

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The major difference between these two movies refers to the way they showed black people and stereotypes about them. While Blazing Saddles tries to ease the problem and presents it in a funny way, Soul Plane uses stereotypes in a negative way only aggravating them.

The moral of the Blazing Saddles is that personal qualities do not depend on the race, and therefore, every person can become a part of any community. The movie is brilliant regarding sending the message to the audience through the main hero triggering only positive emotions. Soul Plane does not seem to have any moral nor any significant message. Besides, it depicts negatively minorities only deepening the unfavorable ideas towards the people of a particular race and exaggerates them to an unbearable extent. Blazing Saddles, conversely, presents minorities in a positive light debunking the stereotypes about them. It reveals the ridiculousness of racism and removes the barriers showing how strange our society can be because of racial labeling.

Considering the plot of both movies, the moral, and the way stereotypes are presented, I would recommend the youth to see Blazing Saddles. It provides social commentary including a number of controversial issues that can be discussed and used as an educational tool. It might seem like a silly film but it does have a lot to say. Bigotry, racism, and discrimination are not funny things, however, the film manages to use them in a comical way. Racist comments seem to reflect more on the speaker’s level than on who they are targeted towards. Comedy is a great choice for showing the evils of racism.

Although other films do an amazing job depicting the influence of racism on people, these movies are usually quite depressing. Blazing Saddles entertains, and it is much more likely to receive a wider audience than a serious depressing drama, which makes it a great tool for important messages.

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