Film Flick: Young Frankenstein

Monday, October 13, 2014

Back in Hollywood's golden age, Universal Studios was known was the home of the Monster Movie- and boy, did it know how to crank out some  Frankenstein- the Original, the Bride of, the Son of, probably even the Cousin of! Some were scary, some were honestly a bit more camp, but what the studio execs knew was that they were cheap to produce and brought in the dough! Fast-forward four decades, and remember that everyone loves a good parody. What does that get you? Mel Brooks' Young Frankenstein, of course!
Never fully dressed, wtithoutastyle,
Gene Wilder stars as the grandson of the man who was made famous in Shelley's tale. He's dismissed his grandfather's ideas- and legacy- as mad, even while becoming an eminent doctor in the same field. But where there's a will- there's a will reading. Which is what forces Young Doctor Frankenstein back to the ancestral castle, where strange things are afoot! Greeted by a hunchback, a stern Frau and a lass who just loves a good roll in the hay, he- and we- are in for some madcap adventures, especially after stumbling on some of his grandfather's old journals. The plot is beside the point though. This film's goal is a simple one: make you laugh, and as it  lovingly pokes fun at the old monster movie genre you are sure to do just that.

To add authenticity to it's genre-roots, Young Frankenstein is shot entirely in black and white. It also utilizes many of the same props seen in those original Frankenstein films. Mel Brooks tracked down Ken Strickfaden, the man who had designed Frankenstein's terrifying lab in the original film.  He was still living in Los Angeles, and even had those set pieces gathering dust in the garage. In exchange for use of the pieces, Strickfaden was given the screen credit he'd been denied decades earlier in Frankenstein. Not everything was a slavish devotion to those 1930 flicks though. The gags ran quick and fast, with many ad-libs. Marty Feldman, who played the hunchback Igor, had taken to switching the hump from shoulder to shoulder, and days later, when the cast finally noticed, it was added to the script. It wasn't all fun and games though; the movie originally ran twice the length of the final product, and for every joke that worked there were three that didn't. Luckily,  after a ruthless editing job, the film became one of Brooks' best, even getting several Oscar nominations that year.
classic film, movie, never fully dressed,wtihoutastyle,
A star-studded cast- including not only Gene Wilder,  and Marty Feldman, but also Peter Boyle, Cloris Leachman, Madeline Kahn, and Teri Garr- keeps the jokes coming fast and furious; they are sure to leave you rolling on the floor- or in the hay as Garr's character would say. So if you like a little comedy mixed in with terror,Young  Frankenstein has the laboratory for you.

8 comments

  1. Love this movie. Madeline Kahn is a goddess, and I will forever have a crush on Gene Wilder.

    xox Sammi

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    1. I feel like Gene Wilder would have been fun to date ;)

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  2. perfect for halloween, will have to look for this at the library now :)

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  3. Man, I really want to watch a good black and white movie, and if this would make me laugh, then I definitely have to watch it--especially since Halloween is coming up (which I keep forgetting, oh gah!). The only other movie I watch for Halloween is Hocus Pocus, as lame as that sounds. ;)

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    Replies
    1. Hocus Pocus is not a lame Halloween movie! I love it too :)

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  4. This is one of my husband's favourite movies. Wilder is so bizarre and funny.

    bisous
    Suzanne

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  5. Your review is excellently written :)

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