What went wrong? Brooks never seems to have a clear idea of the rationale of his movie, so there's no confident narrative impetus to carry it along. His "history" framework doesn't have an approach or point of view; it's basically just a laundry-line for whatever gags he can hang on it. What is this bizarre grab bag? Is it a parody of old Biblical, Roman, and French historical epics? Is it one-shot, comedy revue blackouts? Is it satire aimed at pompous targets? But most of the time it's basically just expensive sets sitting around waiting for Brooks to do something funny in front of them.
Common Sense says
Watch the trailer. Title: History of the World: Part I 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.
Movies / TV
Skip to Content. Not much of a cohesive moral to Brooks' pageant of puns and "blue" humor, except maybe that the so-called dignity of man doesn't amount to much. Most everyone is a buffoon of some sort, with some characters, like Emperor Nero and King Louis XVI silly but skin-deep caricatures of lust, power, and callousness. The only person of color, an "Ethiopian" played by dancer-actor Gregory Hines seems to know more than anyone else about marijuana. Exaggerated Jewish accents distinguish some characters like Moses. Jokey violence-slapstick includes a caveman killed by a spear and another grabbed in a dinosaur's jaws neither very realistic. A punch-out. A horse is whipped. Slapstick battling with swords and shields and crotch kicks.
The film also has cameo appearances by Royce D. Orson Welles narrates each story. Despite carrying the title Part 1, there is no sequel ; the title is a play on The History of the World, Volume 1 by Sir Walter Raleigh , as detailed below. The film, is a parody of the historical spectacular film genre anthology , including the sword and sandal epic and the period costume drama subgenres. Other intermediate skits include reenactments of the giving of the Ten Commandments and the Last Supper. Cavemen including Sid Caesar depict the invention of fire, the first artist which in turn gives rise to the first critic , the first marriages homosapien and then homosexual , early weapons particularly a spear , and early funerals.