History of the World: Part 1

1981 R 1h 32m Blu-ray / DVD

History of the World: Part 1

1981 R 1h 32m Blu-ray / DVD
  • Overview
  • Details
Mel Brooks's comic genius is unleashed in spades in this episodic spoof of history's seminal moments (narrated by Orson Welles), which begins with a brilliant send-up of the cinematic classic 2001: A Space Odyssey. Brooks goes on to lampoon the Stone Age, the Roman Empire, the Spanish Inquisition and ends with a clever takeoff on the French Revolution. The all-star-cast includes Gregory Hines, Madeleine Kahn, Dom DeLuise and Harvey Korman.
Blu-ray DVD
Widescreen 2.35:1
Spanish (Neutral), English
French: Dolby Digital Mono, English: Dolby Digital Mono
Widescreen Anamorphic 2.35:1
English, Spanish (Neutral)
English: DTS 5.1 HD, Spanish (Neutral): Dolby Digital 5.1, French: Dolby Digital 5.1
R - Under 17 requires accompanying parent or adult guardian. Contains some adult material. Parents are urged to learn more about the film before taking their young children with them.
age 14+
Common Sense rating OK for kids 14+
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age 14+

Common Sense Note

Parents need to know that sex-based humor and bathroom-level gags abound, about flatulence, urination, erections, and other body functions. There is regular swearing, with one use of the f-word. Certain dirty jokes (like the opening masturbation scene) will call for uncomfortable explanations for young audiences; others -- like reference to showbiz icons Irving "Swifty" Lazar and Henny Youngman -- will need historical enlightenment. There is a lengthy marijuana gag, in which a gigantic joint (rolled by the only black character) mellows out antagonists. Some scenes make fun of nuns and Catholic iconography. Jesus Christ shows up in one sketch, but actually gets treated more or less respectfully. Moses is not so lucky, oy veh.

Sexual Content

Male bare-butt scene in a lineup of potential lovers for a queen. King Louis fondles breasts and otherwise sexually harasses women, one of whom agrees to trade sex for clemency (but doesn't have to go through with it). Sex jokes about virgins, "gang bang" orgies, masturbation, verbal double-entendres about penises, homosexuality, and sodomy. A Roman empress is named Nympho. Revealing costumes worn by buxom women.


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. Tortures of the Spanish Inquisition are rendered all in fun (no gore) as sight gags.


The s-word, "anus," "piss," "ass," "f----t," a few racial slurs. The f-word. "S-O-B," "bastard," and "Jesus!"

Social Behavior

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. The catchphrase repeated in the French Revolution segment has become something of a motto: It's Good to Be the King.


Caesar's Palace casino in Las Vegas gets a couldn't-resist plug. Talk of Preparation H.

Drugs / Tobacco / Alcohol

Marijuana plants, joint-rolling, and mellow "highs" are part of the Roman storyline. Wine drinking and drunkenness.

  • Age appropriate
  • Not an issue
  • Depends on your child and your family
  • Parents strongly cautioned
  • Not appropriate for kids of the age

This information for parents is provided by Common Sense Media, a non-profit organization dedicated to improving kids' media lives.

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