State Attorney General Hedley Lamarr was played fiendish delight by the hilarious Harvey Korman. Hedley wants to buy the land along the new railroad route cheaply by driving the townspeople of Rock Ridge out. Gene Wilder was originally offered the role of Hedley Lamarr, but he didn’t feel right for it and told Mel Brooks that he wanted to play The Waco Kid instead.
The real life Hedy Lamarr threatened to sue, saying the film’s running “Hedley Lamarr” joke infringed on her right to publicity. This is lampooned when Hedley corrects Governor Le Petomane’s pronunciation of his name, and Le Petomane replies with “What the hell are you worried about? This is 1874, you’ll be able to sue her!”. Brooks says he and the actress settled out of court for a small sum.
Here’s a great behind the scenes story about one of Korman’s famous lines – “You Teutonic Twat!” – told by the Blazing Saddles Production Designer, Peter Wooley.
Harvey Korman has one famous credit that many aren’t aware of; he voiced The Great Gazoo on the Flinstones: