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Spaceballs (1987) starring Bill Pullman, John Candy, Rick Moranis, Mel Brooks, Daphne Zuniga, Dick Van Patten, Joan Rivers
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Spaceballs (1987) starring Bill Pullman, John Candy, Rick Moranis, Mel Brooks, Daphne Zuniga, Dick Van Patten, Joan Rivers

Synopsis of Spaceballs

Spaceballs is a funny, irreverent spoof of Star Wars (and many other scifi movies). The plot centers around a rogue pilot and his furry best friend team with a princess. The goal is to save her planet from an evil emperor who wants to steal all her planet’s air. But it’s really an excuse for a fast-paced gag fest. Enjoy!

Review of Spaceballs

In short, Spaceballs is a hilarious series of gags, both verbal and visual, wrapped about a spoof of Star Wars. And, the spoofs are fast and furious. They’ll make any Star Wars fan smile. But, the parodying doesn’t stop there! Film making, merchandising, and numerous cultural items are mocked mercilessly … And hilariously.

Spoofing The Wizard of Oz in Spaceballs with Bill Putnam/Lone Star and Yogurt/Mel Brooks doing their Schwartz training

It should be said that the acting is wonderful, funny, and well-done. The sets, special effects, and film making are all excellent. Spaceballs is one of Mel Brooks’ movies that I can recommend unreservedly. There’s no gross humor, women popping out of their costumes, etc. It’s just non-stop humor — enjoy!


  • Mel Brooks (Dracula: Dead and Loving It) … President Skroob / Yogurt
  • John Candy (Delirious) … Barf
  • Rick Moranis (Ghostbusters) … Dark Helmet
  • Bill Pullman (Independence Day) … Lone Starr
  • Daphne Zuniga (Stone Pillow) … Princess Vespa
  • Dick Van Patten (Westworld) … King Roland
  • George Wyner … Colonel Sandurz
  • Michael Winslow (Police Academy) … Radar Technician
  • Joan Rivers … Dot Matrix (voice)
  • Lorene Yarnell Jansson … Dot Matrix
  • John Hurt … John Hurt
  • Sal Viscuso … Radio Operator
  • Ronny Graham … Minister
  • Jim J. Bullock … Prince Valium
  • Leslie Bevis … Commanderette Zircon
  • Jim Jackman … Major Asshole
  • Mike Pniewski … Laser Gunner
  • Sandy Helberg … Dr. Schlotkin

As with any gagfest, many of the bits fall flat, but the ones that do–which lampoon the Lucas series’ runaway merchandising and the “magic” of special effects–can still generate a laugh, which has much to do with the film’s enduring quality. Brooks’s cast also helps to sell the material, with Candy and Moranis doing most of the heavy lifting and Brooks tackling his favorite subjects–the idle upper class and Judaism–in President Skroob and Yogurt. Though light years (far, far away) from the heights of Young Frankenstein and Blazing Saddles, Spaceballs is amiable, amusing fun on a broad palette, which probably accounts for its cult status.

The 25th-anniversary edition ports over most of the supplemental features from the 2005 collector’s edition and original DVD release in 2000, including Brooks’s commentary, a 30-minute making-of featurette with cast and crew interviews, a chat with cowriter Meehan, and an array of trailers, promotional spots, and a gag reel. There’s also a new retrospective interview with Brooks that underscores his affection for the picture, a feeling undoubtedly shared by its many fans. –Paul Gaita

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