Friday, June 11, 2004

History Of The World Prejudice With Certain Epochs

History Of The World Prejudice With Certain Epochs

Here's the problem with History Of The World: Part I. It's a fine movie, not hilarious but it has its moments, good gags that were funny in the early 80's anyway. What bugs me about this movie is that half of it is devoted to the Roman Empire sketch. For a movie titled History Of the World that has fifty percent of its onscreen time covering the Roman Empire seems to be a bit misleading to me.

The Roman Empire did span a great many years in our human
history depending on your view of what exactly an empire is. Some historians put the Roman Empire lifespan at about 400 years. You can ratchet this up to 1000 if you include the Byzantine period, the splinter group of the Romans. So I will give Mel Brooks the benefit of the doubt and say the Roman Empire lasted 1000 years.

The Roman sketch in the movie would take up an accurate span of the film, that is half of the film is Roman because half of our 2000 year history saw the Roman Empire, since the movie ends with the French Revolution in the late 18th century we have an end point to this history that the film tries to cover. No problem right?

The movie opened with cavemen.

What's that? 30,000 years ago? The ratio is way off now with only fifteen minutes devoted to this prehistoric period. If 1000 years equates to 45 minutes on film, then 30,000 would make it 1350 minutes. That's 23 hours this movie would have to be just for the prehistoric scene. To make matters worse, fifteen minutes were devoted to the Spanish Inquisition and about fifteen minutes for the French Revolution. Now the formula is all out of whack.

Little wonder there was no Part II. They covered 30,000 years of history up until 1800 in one film. How can they possibly fill 90 minutes with the last 200 years? Hitler on Ice would only be interesting for about two minutes.

It is possible that the sequel planned on getting into our future with the Jews in Space. Maybe they plan on covering another 30,000 years but don't hold your breath. The voice over (Brooks himself I think) for the sequel previews did mention "Coming soon..." That was 23 years ago. But then again, 30,000 years is only 15 minutes using Mel's fuzzy math so who knows.

It's good to be the king.