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Young Frankenstein [Blu-ray] 
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With its hilarious all-star cast--including Gene Wilder, Marty Feldman, Peter Boyle, Cloris Leachman, Teri Garr and Madeline Kahn--Mel Brooks’ monstrous comedy masterpiece is so funny, it’s scary. Summoned to his late grandfather’s castle in Transylvania, young Dr. Frankenstein (Wilder) soon discovers the scientist’s step-by-step manual explaining how to bring a corpse to life.
If you were to argue Mel Brooks' Young Frankenstein ranks among the top-10 funniest movies of all time, nobody could reasonably dispute the claim. Spoofing classic horror in the way that Brooks' previous film Blazing Saddles sent up classic Westerns, the movie is both a loving tribute and a raucous, irreverent parody of Universal's classic horror films Frankenstein (1931) and Bride of Frankenstein (1935). Filming in glorious black and white, Brooks recreated the Frankenstein laboratory using the equipment from the original Frankenstein (courtesy of designer Kenneth Strickfaden), and this loving attention to physical and stylistic detail creates a solid foundation for non-stop comedy. The story, of course, involves Frederick Frankenstein (Gene Wilder) and his effort to resume experiments in re-animation pioneered by his late father. (He's got some help, since dad left behind a book titled How I Did It.) Assisting him is the hapless hunchback Igor (Marty Feldman) and the buxom but none-too-bright maiden Inga (Teri Garr), and when Frankenstein succeeds in creating his monster (Peter Boyle), the stage is set for an outrageous revision of the Frankenstein legend. With comedy highlights too numerous to mention, Brooks guides his brilliant cast (also including Cloris Leachman, Madeline Kahn, Kenneth Mars and Gene Hackman in a classic cameo role) through scene after scene of inspired hilarity. Indeed, Young Frankenstein is a charmed film, nothing less than a comedy classic, representing the finest work from everyone involved. Not one joke has lost its payoff, and none of the countless gags have lost their zany appeal. From a career that includes some of the best comedies ever made, this is the film for which Mel Brooks will be most fondly remembered. No video library should be without a copy of Young Frankenstein. And just remember--it's pronounced "Fronkensteen". --Jeff Shannon --This text refers to the DVD edition.
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Then there is the first-rate cast, with Peter Boyle as the Monster ("Putting on the Riiittzzzz"), Marty Feldman as Igor ("What hump?"), Madeline Kahn as Elizabeth ("Ah, sweet mystery of life at last you've found me!"), Terri Garr as Inga ("Roll, roll, roll in the hay!", and Cloris Leachman as Frau Blucher (Neeeeiiigghghh!!!!!). I even like the film score by John Morris that sets the right tone from start to finish, including the haunting theme that lures the monster back to the castle where he was born (with a nice French horn part for Igor).
But what I really think makes this film work is that there are several scenes that are played absolutely straight, such as when Frederick reclaims his family name and the Monster is tormented in the jail cell. Then there is the doctor's speech at the moment of creation, which stacks up against anything you will find in any of the classic Universal Frankenstein films: "From that fateful day when stinking bits of slime first crawled from the sea and shouted to the cold stars, "I am man.", our greatest dread has always been the knowledge of our mortality. But tonight, we shall hurl the gauntlet of science into the frightful face of death itself. Tonight, we shall ascend into the heavens. We shall mock the earthquake. We shall command the thunders, and penetrate into the very womb of impervious nature herself!"
Wow.Read more ›
Given that it is a comedy pastiche of the great black and white era classics, you might think that it would pall after a viewing or two, and that the jokes would have a short shelf life. Far from it. Knowing what is coming actually helps the movie as you savour the next great joke. There is love in this film for the genre that they are affectionately portraying, there are no "cheap shots" or cynical gags in this film.
Although played for laughs, this is a "real" movie with fantastic scenery and music which lend authenticity and drama, contributing to the telling of the classic Frankenstein tale. The Black and White shots are in many instances beautifully framed and lit. Gene Wilder looks genuinely crazed.
The DVD issue represents good value too. The extras are definitely worth watching, with truly bizarre Mexican publicity material (the cast interviewed in Spanish, which they only partly follow), outtakes, cut scenes, making of documentary and a commentary by Mel Brooks. The evident enjoyment of the cast comes though in the extras, and you will have just as much fun watching the whole package.
In sum, this is a great presentation of a very funny movie, with quality extras, that you will enjoy for many years.
Young Frankenstein is a very funny parody of the Universal 1930's movies Frankenstein and Bride of Frankenstein. It's filmed in Black and White with a musical score replicating the era. All the performances are great, Marty Feldman being a standout. The actors pretty much play it straight even if Feldman gurns at the camera a couple of times (this works on this occassion).
Running gags don't outstay their welcome and the story has a pretty coherent plotline throughout. There are lots of classic scenes with my favourite being Peter Boyle's Monster meeting Gene Hackman's Blind Man.
Mel Brooks films in the UK have not really hit the blu ray market by any strength. The picture is cleaned up but the extras are simply ported over from the DVD. Luckily there are plenty of them to make this a fine package.
If you already have the extras packed DVD, I wouldn't necessarily suggest you buy this unless you MUST have everything on Blu Ray.
I'm tempted to give four stars as it is identical to the DVD but the film is my favourite of the Brook's catalogue so gets the five.
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!Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
my favourite movie of all time, love it, quick delivery, good price, happy customerPublished 3 days ago by Carole
I think this is Mel Brooks finest moment ... even funnier than Blazing Saddles Fantastic movie Hilarious from start to finishPublished 5 days ago by Beni14
I do like this film. It helps if you are familiar with the Frankenstein story and films. This is a send up of these.
The cast are excellent and very funny. Read more
I had to watch this right through because I bought it for a friend who complained that it froze on his DVD player. It worked perfectly on mine. Read morePublished 6 days ago by Stephen Albrow
Brilliant Everyone with anything near sense of humour should see itPublished 10 days ago by Amazon Customer