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Parents' Guide to

History of the World, Part 1

By Charles Cassady Jr., Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 14+

Dirty jokes, some sparkle in uneven Mel Brooks classic.

Movie R 1981 92 minutes
History of the World, Part 1 Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 13+

Based on 2 parent reviews

age 8+

The butt review

age 18+

Outdated humor - skip this movie

I remember seeing some Mel Brooks films when I was younger. And at least this one doesn't hold up. Very inappropriate humor that really isn't funny - for example a "gang bang" of the queen. And a woman who is told she must "hump or your father will be killed". This is not the kind of message I would want my kids to see. Nor am I interested in this kind of "humor".

This title has:

Too much sex

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (2 ):
Kids say (7 ):

The critics who (like a Roman emperor) gave HISTORY OF THE WORLD, PART 1 a thumbs-down probably got spoiled by Brooks' preceding masterpieces. He'd become popular for his knowing, affectionate Hollywood-genre spoofs like Blazing Saddles and Young Frankenstein. This doesn't even try subverting old gladiator flicks or epic movies (neither did Epic Movie). It's just Mel having fun with puns, big sets, period costumes, and fave actors for 90 minutes, offering up some hoary clunkers, ("walk this way..."), comedic brilliance (a laugh-out-loud cameo by Moses), and a few ebullient song-and-dance routines -- like a keeper production number on the horrors of the Spanish Inquisition.

Clean jokes and tasteless gags bump around in equal measure (if the PG-13 had existed in 1981, this could have dodged the R), sometimes funny, sometimes not. The French Revolution segment, pretty much the third act, is the weakest. Every funnyman knows you need a big finish.

Movie Details

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