Young Frankenstein (1974) – Mel Brooks (Friday’s Finest)

I can’t believe this comedy classic was made the year I was born. This is my favourite from Mel Brooks and he even said in this documentary it was his best picture. It is the second feature from Mel to feature here on Friday’s Finest. Young Frankenstein or as its pronounced Frankensteen is a joint favourite amongst my kids starring Gene Wilder, along with Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. Interestingly Elon Musk told in 2020 of Gene Wilder’s house which he had procured and just recently sold, ‘And there’s doors to nowhere, and strange corridors and tunnels, and odd paintings on the wall‘. Very Frankensteenish if I must say‘.

IMDB Storyline:
A young neurosurgeon (Gene Wilder) inherits the castle of his grandfather, the famous Dr. Victor von Frankenstein. In the castle he finds a funny hunchback called Igor, a pretty lab assistant named Inga and the old housekeeper, frau Blucher -iiiiihhh!-. Young Frankenstein believes that the work of his grandfather is only crap, but when he discovers the book where the mad doctor described his reanimation experiment, he suddenly changes his mind.

The movie was co-written by Brooks and Wilder. Its has a stellar cast many appearing in other Mel Brooks movies including the previous entry here High Anxiety. The standout in Frankensteen is Marty Feldman as the hunchback with misaligned eyes, but all co-stars are superb.
For trivia buffs, much of the lab equipment used in the movie was created for the 1931 film Frankenstein. Mel adopted the aspects of earlier films including to do it black and white and a 1930’s stylised opening credits and fades to black between scenes to name just a few.

Despite it being a big box-office and critical success, this film is scantily mentioned in recent times. I don’t think many younger generations are even clued onto it. Brook’s later movies got a bit juvenile and cheap, but Frankensteen I can see again and again. It is wonderfully loopy, naughty and an ingenious send-up of universal horror clichés. Who can forget the scene with Igor behind the book-shelves when they were looking the skulls? The facial expression and the breaking into song kills me every time. Below are some of the best 5 minutes of the movie.

References:
1. Young Frankenstein – Wikipedia
2. Young Frankenstein – IMDB

“The more I live, the more I learn. The more I learn, the more I realize, the less I know.”- Michel Legrand

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Posted in Movies and TV
18 comments on “Young Frankenstein (1974) – Mel Brooks (Friday’s Finest)
  1. River Dixon says:

    This is one of my all-time favorites.

  2. badfinger20 (Max) says:

    I love this movie….I think this one and Blazing Saddles are my two favorites by him. Happy New Year Matt!

    • Blazing Saddles I saw just once and I hardly remember it except for the baked beans campfire scene lol. I need to see it again. The first half of History of the World Pt 1 had me in stitches lol I need to review it. Happy New year Max!

      • badfinger20 (Max) says:

        It would not fly today becuase of the non-PC nature of it.
        Happy New Year Matt!

  3. I love this movie too. Watched it again a month ago.

  4. I tried showing it to my high-school students. Only a few appreciated it. I feel old!

  5. I love everything Mel. Just watched the Producers a while ago. So many good bits in all his films. Looks like you are nudging me to another viewing of Young Frank. Wilder and Brooks were so good together. I have a couple years on ya. Seen this in the theater when it was released.

    • Hey CB, you know I haven’t seen the Producers, just the Larry David spin-off on his show ‘Curb Your Enthusiasm’.
      I envy you saw Frankensteen in the theatre. I’d give over some mulla to see it on the big screen. Cheers.

      • Might be a bit dated but so much to like. Zero is off the wall, Mel is off the wall. Never seen the David bit. Ill look out for it.
        YF has so much to like. Being a fan of old horror flicks was a great in, then the fantastic cast, it hit on all cylinders for me. Big screen, theater experience does have its appeal.

      • Are you talking about the movie Producers or Musical?
        I think YF is one of the greatest comedy spoofs ever made, if not the best. It’s already folklore this movie with regards to Mel’s production techniques. The Theatre and Young Frankenstein would be the ants-pants.

      • Im talking about Mel’s’ 1967 original film. I heard there was a remake but it didnt grab my interest, Same as if someone tried to duplicate YF. Like you said Mel’s film is so good.

      • I didn’t know about the ’67 original. That would be fun.

      • Zero Mostel, Gene Wilder (first film) and various other off the wall performances with Mel at the helm. Put Brooks on the map .

      • I didn’t know this at all and it being Gene’s first film. A must-see and thanks for filling me in CB.

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