17 of 20 people found the following review helpful
It is a credit to director Mel Brooks and to Gene Wilder, co-author of the screenplay, that this film has lost none of his comic impact since it was first released almost 30 years ago. Seeing it and The Producers (1968) again recently, I was reminded of the fact that Brooks' best comedies are those in which he does not appear. Also, I was again impressed by Brooks's respectful treatment of the original material (i.e. Mary Godwin Shelley's novel), more so than any of the earlier film versions, notably one starring Boris Karloff as The Monster.
What else to say? The ensemble cast of Brooks regulars (Boyle, Kahn, Leachman, Mars, and Wilder) are all outstanding, joined by Marty Feldman, Terri Garr, and a surprisingly effective Gene Hackman as the Blind Hermit. In only a few other films has Hackman's gift for comedy been utilized. The ones I recall are three of the Superman films, Get Shorty (1995), and The Birdcage (1996): to a lesser extent in Unforgiven (1992) and The Royal Tenenbaums (2001).
Nonetheless, the irrepressible Brooks could not resist the temptation to add some special seasoning of his own such as, for example, the schtick involving the word Blucher. (Frau Blucher finally admits that the late Henry Frankenstein was her "boyfriend"). As Brooks well knew, Gebhard von Blucher was a Prussian field marshal during the Napoleonic wars, infamous for his abuse of horses. (Following retirement from military service, his mental health was questioned when he claimed that he was pregnant with an elephant after being raped by a French grenadier. Such a claim could indeed raise questions.) Igor's shifting hump is also vintage Brooks as are the scenes when Frederick von Frankenstein (Fronk-un-STEEN!) bids farewell to Elizabeth (Kahn) before his train departs and then later when Inga (Garr) is happily "rolling, rolling, rolling in the hay" wagon.
However, Brooks never allows such zaniness to overcome (obliterate?) the flow of the narrative as is sometimes the case in his other comedies. Although it may be difficult to believe, there is great dignity in this film which never serves as a target for ridicule. (That is what I meant earlier when suggesting that Brooks and Wilder are respectful of the original.) Even the slapstick (slapschtick?) such as it is helps to advance the plot.
For these and other reasons, this is my favorite Brooks comedy.
There are some comedy movies that are so great, so beloved, that they need no introduction. "Monty Python and the Holy Grail," "Airplane," "Animal House," "Ghostbusters"... ones that are recognizable merely by being quoted.
But one of the best is "Young Frankenstein," Mel Brooks' gutsplittingly funny parody of Universal's series of Frankenstein movies. While combining elements from at least three movies, it's a tight, fast-moving string of seamless gags, running jokes and wild-eyed mad science from Gene Wilder. And of course, it has one of those scripts that is just outstandingly quotable ("HE... VAS... MY.... BOYFRIEND!").
Dr. Frederick Frankenstein (Wilder) -- pronounced "Fronkensteen" -- is a talented young neurosurgeon who tries very hard to distance himself from his grandfather's notorious experiments. "My grandfather's work was doodoo! I am not interested in death! The only thing that concerns me is the preservation of life!" he yells at his class, just before accidentally sticking a scalpel in his own leg.
Then a solicitor informs him that he has inherited his family estate in Transylvania, including a castle, a quirky hunchbacked servant named Igor (pronounced "eye-gore") (Marty Feldman) and a shapely assistant, Inga (Teri Garr). While exploring his new castle, Frederick discovers his grandfather's lab and private journals -- and immediately embraces his family's legacy of necromancy and mad science.
So he and Igor start merrily robbing graves and stealing brains, despite the suspicions of the monacled Inspector Kemp (Kenneth Mars). Unfortunately, the monster who arises has an "Abby Normal" brain, and spreads terror throughout the region as soon as the housekeeper Frau Blucher (Cloris Leachman) -- cue whinnies -- releases him. Also, Frederick's prissy fiancee (Madeleine Kahn) has arrived. Frederick must recapture the creature and save him from the rioting villagers... which may put his own life at risk.
"Young Frankenstein" is impressive enough as a comedy, but it's even more impressive when you consider that it parodies chunks from at least three different movies, including the little-known "Son of Frankenstein." Even more impressive is the fact that this movie was trimmed down from an original cut that was twice as long, mainly by chopping out every joke that didn't bring down the house.
So what do you get? You get a lean, sleek mass of jokes that are wildly quotable ("Give him the sedagive!"), memorable (the cat shriek during the darts game) and wildly bizarre (a certain odd sex scene involving "Ah! Sweet Mystery of Life." And there are a lot of clever little touches. The whole thing is done in black-and-white, for a more "vintage" feel, and apparently Brooks rented the original electrical gear from the original "Frankenstein" movies.
But it also works as a story about a somewhat mad scientist who does what we all wish Victor Frankenstein had done -- try to help and protect the monster instead of shunning him. That's a good deal of the reason why the hypersensitive, cheating Frederick is nevertheless a very likable guy -- he's crazy, but he's also got a good heart and some real affection for the monster... when he doesn't think it's trying to kill him.
Wilder is friggin' awesome here, all bulging eyes and wild hair, alternately hammy ("... and penetrate... into the very womb of IMPERVIOUS NATURE HERSELF!") and childish ("There. I'm touching it. Happy?"). Marty Feldman's Igor is the perfect foil -- an impish little creature who just seems to be enjoying every opportunity to cause just a little confusion and chaos ("What hump?"). And all the supporting cast is similarly astounding -- prissy yet sexually voracious Kahn, innocently sexy Garr, mildly terrifying Leachman (whinny!), and a brief but delightful cameo by Gene Hackman.
"Young Frankenstein" is one of the greatest comedies ever made -- a fast-moving, relentlessly funny parody that is still a delight even to those who haven't seen Universal's monster movies. A must-see.
on 30 December 2014
Classic Mel Brook's film which spoof's the Frankenstein films from the 30's
which is the main reason why this film is Black & white actually
Mel Brooks wanted to give as much respect to the Frankenstein film's as possible i guess
from a fans point of view i think Mel Brook's made the right Decision to make the film in black & white
so i cannot imagine this film being in Colour at all
the new HD transfer that 20th century fox has given does clean up the picture quality pretty Good
i believe this new HD transfer is exactly the same as the U.S. edition transfer
the picture quality is more sharper & crisp in 1:85:1 widescreen
better than the old dvd release that's for sure
a new 5.1 Master audio mix has been given to which does boost the sound quality up
again better than the old DVD release
the Acting performances are Great of course
Gene wilder as the Mad scientist plays the mad Doctor perfectly
Mary Feldman as his assistant Igor, still incredibly funny all these Decades later
Teri Garr as the beautiful Helga, Gene wilder's other assistant in the film
Madeline kahn who plays Gene wilder's wife in the film
Madeline kahn-another one of those Great comedic Actress's who is still very very funny Decades later
but tragically died of ovarian cancer back in 1999
the late Great Peter Boyle as the Monster
also Gloris Leachman, Kenneth mars, cameo performance by Gene Hackman who plays the blindman
it's the Cream of the crop in this comedy classic
special features Galore on this blu-ray, new special features have been added for this blu-ray
plus the old extras from the DVD release
are on this 1 Disc incredible
NEW-INSIDE THE LAB SECRET FORMULAS IN MAKING YOUNG FRANKENSTEIN
which is 30mins of new interviews in small featurettes which can be played one at a time
or can be played altogether at once which makes 30mins
new interviews with Mel brooks, Teri Garr, Gloris Leachman and others
i think it's pointless playing each featurette one at a time just watch the whole thing in one Go
NEW-TRANSYLVANIAN LULLABY which is 11min interview with John morris
who did the music score for the film
NEW-MORE DELETED & EXTENDED SCENES that were not included in the old dvd release
about 25mins of extra scenes
NEW- IT'S ALIVE CREATING A MONSTER CLASSIC
which is 30mins Documentary on the History of Frankenstein films and Mary shelley's novel
NEW ISOLATED SCORE option
plus the Old special features from the dvd release are included aswell
MAKING FRANKENSENSE OF YOUNG FRANKENSTEIN which is the 2001 making of featurette
Outtakes, Deleted scenes
TV broadcasted promo interviews with Marty feldman, Gene wilder & Gloris leachman
Production photo Galleries.
all this on 1 blu-ray Disc time to definitely upgrade get this new blu-ray release
5 stars i gave it based on so many special features
This 1974 horror spoof co-written (with the film's star Gene Wilder) and directed by Mel Brooks is simply one of the funniest things I have ever seen on the big screen, full of hilarious sequences and top comic performances - that of Wilder as the title character ('Fronk-en-steen') and Marty Feldman as the doctor's sidekick, Igor, being career best turns in my book (two of the most mesmerising pairs of shifty eyes you will ever see). Not only that, but the film has (for me, at least) spawned a whole series of catchphrases which have passed into everyday comic parlance ('walk this way', 'nice grouping', 'what knockers', 'could be worse, could be raining', 'not on the lips', etc). Indeed, Brooks' film has acquired such a standing in the (admittedly comic) world of cinema that it is not entirely remiss of us to have (almost) let slip from our memories its original inspiration (as stated on the credits) of Mary Shelley's book (and the various 'serious' cinematic incarnations).
Of course, Brooks has taken the very clichés abounding in such earlier 'horror films' and (arguably) taken the easier route of mining them for (repeated) seams of comic gold (rather than cowering terror), such as in the film's opening scene as the evocative black-and-white camera of cinematographer Gerald Hirschfield pans around the coffin of the doctor's great grandfather (Baron von, no less), and the lid springs open to reveal the hilariously animated skeleton of Frankenstein Snr. Thereafter, Brooks takes us on a whirlwind trip (with frequent nods to silent comedy and the films of the Marx Brothers) as the young doctor retraces the route to the isolated, lightening-shrouded Transylvanian castle where his 'mad' grandfather worked his 'experiments'. Here, he treats us to a whole series of killer running gags, courtesy of the bug-eyed (and exceedingly British) Feldman's 'wandering hump', Frau Blücher's (an imposingly mysterious Cloris Leachman) neighing horses and the double-entendres of Teri Garr's flirtatious and buxom 'assistant', Inga ('Allo 'Allo! accent and all).
Elsewhere, Peter Boyle is, of course, unforgettable as the 'new monster' - memorable scenes being his song-and-dance routine to 'Puttin' on the Ritz' and that with Gene Hackman's blind hermit - whilst Kenneth Mars' snooping police inspector Kemp, with his Dr Strangelove-like heavy accent and his one-armed talent for darts, is equally hilarious. There are, of course, many great set-piece sequences in Brooks' film, but if I had to pick one it would be the game of charades Doctor Frankenstein is forced to play with Igor and Inga to ensure the 'out-of-control' monster receives his sedative. It's unremittingly hilarious stuff!
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 23 January 2012
I enjoyed this DVD. Marty Feldman is brilliant as is Terri Garr. I'm a big fan of Gene Wilder, anything (almost) he does is good. This movie was made around the time of Blazing Saddles and is a very clever & funny movie.
The bonus material is also very funny, especially the Mexican interview with Marty, he has no idea what the Mexican interviewee is asking.
There is also some very enjoyable interviews made with Gene and other cast members.
Well recommended for a good laugh.
Mel Brooks' masterpiece penned by Gene Wilder is easily one of the funniest films ever made.
Based on the conceit that Baron Frankenstein's son (Wilder), also a Doctor now living in America, decides to follows up his late father's research into reanimation. He returns to Castle Frankenstein and we follow his adventures with the villagers, the castle staff and of course the Monster, played to perfection by a very convincing Peter Boyle.
With ample comedy perfection filling the screen including, Marty Feldman, Madeline Khan, Cloris Leachman and the very very funny Kenneth Mars, Wilder has a ball overacting his head off in those wonderful authentic sets. The Lab, according to the special features, is the original 1931 set located and put together again for the filming. It certainly looks the part. The stand out scene for me is the glorious song and dance number performed by Wilder and Boyle singing "Putting on the Ritz". If that doesn't make you smile at least,then your deader than the monster.
Wilders witty script, Brooks' pitch perfect direction, superb set design, gorgeous Black and White photography, and all that comedy talent bursting off the screen make Young Frankenstein a perennial favourite with lovers of good comedy.
A classic by any standard.
OK Ted this is one movie you'll never get your color on.
This is proof that some life changing movies need to be in Black and white. Color can some time distract from the message.
This film went out of its way to highlight the important parts of the original message and the acting is impeccable.
Young Frankenstein is a tightly written spoof on the series of Hollywood Frankenstein movie sequels. The son of a famous dabbler in the mysteries of life gets intrigued in the craft himself finding it necessary to exchange attributes with his creation.
One of the people in this film that I am keeping a collection of is Teri Garr, "Star Trek" (1966) playing "Roberta Lincoln"(as Terry Garr) in episode: "Assignment: Earth" (episode # 2.26) 3/29/1968. And there is so much of her in this film as Inga. I like the part where the doctor comments on the castle doorknockers and Inga thanks him for the compliment. I was relieved to find the DVD did not say that they were special affects.
And true to the originals, after throwing everything insight into the water, the little girl asks what is left to throw in? The monster (Peter Boyle) just looks out at you knowing the answer.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 26 May 2013
Blazing Saddles (hilarious) triggered my interest in Mel Brooks [I had a love of Westerns as a child], but Young Frankenstein is a markedly superior film comedy. A wonderfully crafted hilariously silly movie littered with priceless unforgettable comedy moments. I cried with laughter during the scene with the blind hermit. This is Brooks' best film by far, a perfect cast. A must for anyone's collection.
on 10 January 2015
Although it may be a cliche, everyone has a film that they say that they could watch everday, apparently Michael Jackson watched E.T everyday.
Well,perhaps not everyday, but I have lost count of how many times I have watched this movie.
It has an appeal that really grabs you and everytime I watch it I always notice something new, perhaps another cliche but true for me in this case.
Many funny standout moments and lines, Marty Feldman's freeze frame face and accompanying music when Gene Wilder meets him at the train station is just a classic, Madeline Khan, who plays Gene's fiance, is playing either a nervous virgin or the worlds biggest tease, until she is confronted by the well endowed Frankenstein monster Peter Boyle, then she undergoes a sudden transformation into a nymphomaniac.
Made in the same year,1974, as Mel Brook's other classic Blazing Saddles ,notice alot of the same cast, but out of the two this is the best for me.
Highly recommended if you have yet to see it.
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on 12 January 2002
If you have even the smallest funnybone it will be tickled by this classic film.
The first time I saw this was so many years ago, yet whenever I am in need of a laugh or just in the mood for a chuckle, it never fails me. Unbelievably quotable, in fact I often throw in a line when meeting new people and its a good indicator of whether we will hit it off or not!!
Say nothing, act casual.