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.
Like The Line In The Inquisition Song, “What A Show!”
The “Part I” in the title of the film was kind of an inside joke about sequels and film series. After all, if they have a “Rocky II,” “Rocky III,” “Rocky IV,” “Rocky V,” etc., how come there was never a “Rocky I?” Mel Brooks delivers a critique of today’s religion and politics but with characters and situations set ages ago. After all, the proverbial question set by characters from thousands of years ago, “But what about the poor?” The “F Word” reply given in unison by the chorus of ancient politicians was really a social commentary on contemporary politics. Mel Brooks’ musical extravaganza on “The Inquisition” was not just a commentary of a dark, violent, regrettable page of history on the Catholic Church, but a commentary on a few aspects of today’s religious issues. Some people in the audience may have felt that some of the religious humor was too disrespectful, with characters in the scenes like Moses, Jesus, priests, nuns, etc. The rule of thumb on that is that you can have Biblical and religious characters in your humor, as long as you’re making fun with them, rather than at them. After all, when was the last time you thought about God? Anytime people start talking and thinking about religion, their beliefs or disbeliefs, it’s good. It’s thought provoking. It would be too “in your face” to use contemporary public figures to make commentary like that. After all, this is a Mel Brooks motion picture for the movie theater where you pay for a ticket and expect quality — not an episode of “Saturday Night Live” that keeps recycling old jokes with new faces. That’s why it’s good taste to make your comedic critique with characters and situations set hundreds or thousands of years ago as Mel Brooks did in the first place. “The History Of The World — Part I” is a delightful comedy. If you haven’t seen it yet, it’s worth your while.