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DVD front

1974 comedy written by Gene Wilder and directed by Mel Brooks

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The Doctor Is In

  • Dec 22, 2008
Rating:
+5
WARNING: This film may lead to incontinence due to hysterical laughter!

Mel Brooks' 1974 film, Young Frankenstein is arguably the funniest film ever made. Gene Wilder and Mel Brooks, who had previously collaborated on The Producers and Blazing Saddles, wrote the script together. This film is a superbly crafted parody of the Universal Studios Frankenstein films.
Peter Boyle as Frankenstein's Monster

The story begins with young Doctor Frederick Frankenstein (pronounced Fronkensteen) discovering that he has inherited his great-grandfather's Transylvanian mansion. Upon his arrival Dr. Frankenstein meets Igor (pronounced Eye-Gore), an eccentric servant with a hunched back. He is also introduced to the vivacious vixen, Inga who just wants "to have a roll in ze hay." Before long Frederick discovers the secret library of his infamous grandfather, Victor von Frankenstein and becomes totally obsessed with creating a "monster" of his own. Naturally this doesn't go over well with the local peasantry. After the monster goes on a rampage of terror (or more accurately a rampage of hilarity), the villagers form an angry mob and set out to destroy it. But don't worry, all's well that ends well in the world of Mel Brooks.

The cast
The gags in the film are hilarious (I won't ruin them for any of you yet to see the film). The satire is heightened by the brilliance of the set design, and by the black and white cinematography, which perfectly captures the look of classic horror films. The cast is terrific especially Gene Wilder as the infirm Dr. Frankenstein, Marty Feldman as the zany hunchback Igor, Teri Garr as the delightfully ditzy assistant Inga, Madeline Kahn as Dr. Frankenstein's obnoxious and vain fiancée, Kenneth Mars as the one-armed Inspector Kemp, Cloris Leachman as the mysterious Frau Blucher whose name incites terror in the hearts of all horses, and Peter Boyle as the mumbling monster. Also look for a memorable cameo appearance by Gene Hackman.
Marty Feldman as Igor
As often as Young Frankenstein is referred to as being "the greatest comedy ever", it's odd that it never received any awards for its talented cast and crew. They certainly deserved them. There are few works of comedic genius out there today, for which I am grateful to Mel Brooks for giving us this loony masterpiece to watch again and again.

Young Frankenstein
The DVD features some great supplemental material including cast interviews, an audio commentary with Mel Brooks reminiscing about the making of the film, production stills, trailers and TV spots, a wonderful documentary, seven deleted scenes and an outrageously funny blooper reel (watch the documentary before the blooper reel for maximum effect).

And remember next time a reanimated corpse is on the loose that "A riot is an ugly thing... und I think it is just about time that we have one!"
Young Frankenstein Gene Wilder as Doctor Frankenstein Marty Feldman as Igor Teri Garr as Inga

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October 21, 2010
A true classic
 
May 23, 2009
I read this review back at Amazon, when I went looking for stuff about the Blu-ray release of Young Frankenstein, after I ordered mine and realized what a travesty it was, and for one o f my all-time favorite movies.  At the time, although the reviews were relatively new -- they were clearly responding to the news of the upcoming Blu-ray -- but none had actually seen it, and all the reviews covered the movie itself, not the accuracy of the transfer.  Mine was the first review of the look of the Blu-ray, and I was pretty upset.  By that time, I had already returned mine, and settled for the reality that the SD DVD was the best I could hope for in my lifetime.  I so wanted to see a beautiful edition it, one of my all-time favorites.  A lot of people bought the line the critics were fobbing off, that the look was intentional.  But I saw that movie in the theater, and it looked as beautiful as any other black & white film.   Unless Fox Studios performs a complete remasters (as has been done with a lot of films, even for superior SD re-releases), we're stuck with what we've got.   
June 10, 2009
Yeah, that was right when I started having problems on Amazon.com with campaign voting. Things got really out of hand and people were actually getting their friends to give my reviews unhelpful votes without ever having read them. Glad those days are over... sort of. Now, Amazon just takes away any votes that I get without any real reason behind it.
 
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More Young Frankenstein reviews
review by . December 12, 2010
Stephanie's Favourite Movies: Young Frankenstein      This is definitely a classic comedy and a spoof done right. The problem I have with spoofs today (especially those done by Aaron Seltzer and Jason Friedberg) is that they just throw in the exact same scenes from the movies that they're ripping off with more dick and boob jokes while throwing in as many pop culture references as they can, whether or not they pertain to the genre they're satirizing. Spoofs work …
Quick Tip by . August 11, 2010
Many people agree that Mel Brooks and Gene Wilder's zany classic is among the greatest comedies ever conceived.
Quick Tip by . July 12, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
Gene Wilder is great at showing a Dr. Frankenstein who does not want to acknowledge his calling.
review by . February 17, 2008
posted in Movie Hype
It's always a bit dangerous when a medium uses itself as its subject. So paintings about painting, plays about the theatre, rock and roll songs about how hard it is to be a star all tend to run along the edge of tedious and self-important. Movies about movies are the worst. If you want me to understand some other film before I see yours, buy me a ticket.    What keeps Young Frankenstein from being tedious is that some of the eternal pillars of comedy are present. There's lesson …
review by . July 03, 2003
posted in Movie Hype
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 …
review by . June 24, 2001
"I am a scientist!" Gene Wilder rants to his class, "My grandfathers work was doo doo!" Young Frankenstien is a person who has liveed his life under the morbid shadow of his grandfather, Baron Von Frankenstien. This is withoutadoubt (one word) one of the funniest movies you could watch. The movie itself is only partially old, but its black and white filming gives a great classic feeling. There are so many puns that there is no way in heck you could memorize them without repeated viewings. I love …
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If you were to argue that Mel Brooks'sYoung Frankensteinranks among the top-ten funniest movies of all time, nobody could reasonably dispute the claim. Spoofing classic horror in the way that Brooks's previous filmBlazing Saddlessent up classic Westerns, the movie is both a loving tribute and a raucous, irreverent parody of Universal's classic horror filmsFrankenstein(1931) andBride of Frankenstein(1935). Filming in glorious black and white, Brooks re-created theFrankensteinlaboratory using the same equipment from the originalFrankenstein(courtesy of designer Kenneth Strickfaden), and this loving attention to physical and stylistic detail creates a solid foundation for nonstop 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 titledHow 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 Frankensteinis a charmed film, nothing less than a comedy ...
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