Directed by Mel Brooks
Quick Synopsis… A laugh riot from beginning to end, this classic parody from director Mel Brooks stars Gene Wilder as Frederick Frankenstein, who detests his family history but ultimately can’t resist the temptation to follow in his infamous grandfather’s footsteps. Adding to the fun is a brilliant supporting cast that includes Marty Feldman as bug-eyed assistant Igor, Madeline Kahn as Frankenstein’s frosty fiancée and Peter Boyle as the zipper-necked monster.
- I don’t think I’ve seen this movie since I was a kid.
- Thus, my memory of it is fuzzy at best.
- I recently rewatched the original Frankenstein, with Boris Karloff as the monster. I’m hoping that will help me to appreciate all of the callbacks that I’m sure are littered throughout this parody.
- Young Frankenstein is very much made in the same vein as all those horror classics.
- Not just because it’s filmed in black and white. The opening credits and score are a huge throwback, as well.
- I think that can help us appreciate Mel Brooks as a director all the more. Imagine how much he must have studied those old movies in order to have the appropriate influence on his own.
- We open on a coffin bearing the name of Baron Von Frankenstein. That coffin is opened and a small box is removed from the decomposing hands of the baron.
- Frederick Frankenstein (pronounced Frahnkensteen) is lecturing a modern classroom of medical students.
- He gets agitated whenever someone pronounces his name in the classic way, or whenever someone tries to connect him to his grandfather, Victor, the infamous grave robber.
- A solicitor visits Frederick to inform him that he has inherited his family’s estate in Transylvania following the death of his great-grandfather, Beaufort Von Frankenstein.
- So he travels to Transylvania, saying good-bye to his fiancee, Elizabeth (Madeline Kahn).
- He’s met at the train station by Igor (pronounced Eye-gor), whose grandfather once worked for Frederick’s grandfather.
- He also meets his lab assistant, Inga (Teri Garr).
- And then, upon arriving at the castle, he is introduced to Frau Blucher (Cloris Leachman), the housekeeper.
- It isn’t long before Frederick discovers his grandfather’s secret lab and journals, and a book conveniently titled How I Did It, inspiring him to continue his grandfather’s work.
- In searching for a brain for this new monster, Igor makes the same mistake as his grandfather, dropping the brain intended for the reanimated corpse and grabbing the abnormal one.
- Frankenstein revives the corpse (Peter Boyle), who escapes briefly to terrorize the countryside.
- But things go differently this time, as Frederick recaptures the monster and tames him.
- The scene where they perform a duet of “Puttin’ on the Ritz” is hilarious.
- From here, the movie is significantly different from the classic story, with Frederick discovering a way to transfer some of his intelligence to the monster.
The humor of this movie cannot be translated into a bullet pointed blog post. Do yourself a favor and watch this if you haven’t before. It really is hilarious. If you have seen it, what do you think of it?
Tomorrow’s the end of the A to Z Challenge. What movie are we watching? It something of a comedy horror movie. Bill Murray’s in it. Any guesses?