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Customer Review

17 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars You VILL enjoy ziss film!, 26 Sept. 2005
This review is from: Young Frankenstein [DVD] [1975] (DVD)
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.
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Showing 1-1 of 1 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 14 Feb 2016 19:32:37 GMT
Blucher! (Neeiiiighhhh!)
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