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Young Frankenstein (1974)

 -  Comedy  -  15 December 1974 (USA)
8.1
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Ratings: 8.1/10 from 101,183 users  
Reviews: 299 user | 124 critic

Dr. Frankenstein's grandson, after years of living down the family reputation, inherits granddad's castle and repeats the experiments.

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(screen story and screenplay), (screen story and screenplay), 1 more credit »
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Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 10 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
...
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...
Liam Dunn ...
Danny Goldman ...
Oscar Beregi Jr. ...
Sadistic Jailor (as Oscar Beregi)
...
Village Elder
Richard A. Roth ...
Insp. Kemp's Aide (as Richard Roth)
Monte Landis ...
Gravedigger
Rusty Blitz ...
Gravedigger
Edit

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... Written by Flavio Rizzardi <spillo@maya.dei.unpid.it>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

The scariest comedy of all time!

Genres:

Comedy

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

15 December 1974 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Frankenstein junior  »

Box Office

Budget:

$2,800,000 (estimated)

Gross:

$86,300,000 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The Gasthaus, or guest house at the beginning of the riot scene is Gasthaus Gruskoff, named after producer Michael Gruskoff. See more »

Goofs

When Helga lands on the bed she is lying on the bed with no bed covers on her. When her parents enter her bedroom she has bed covers over her. See more »

Quotes

Dr. Frederick Frankenstein: [after reading his grandfather's notes] IT... COULD... WORK!
See more »

Crazy Credits

The zero in the 20th century fox logo at the beginning is slightly tilted. See more »

Connections

Spoofed in The Boy Who Cried Werewolf (2010) See more »

Soundtracks

Bridal Chorus
from "Lohengrin"
Music by Richard Wagner
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
EVERYTHING comes wonderfully to life in this dead-on Mel Brooks horror spoof – non-stop laughs from beginning to end!
15 May 2001 | by (Los Angeles, California) – See all my reviews

Mel Brooks' parodies are like your favorite, worn-out couch. You know it's not the greatest in style, taste and quality, but it just feels so damn comfortable. Of late, most of Mel's spoofs have been off the mark, his work mellowing into predictability. In fact, you really have to go all the way back to 1974 to see Brooks at his sharpest. In that year we were awarded "Blazing Saddles" AND "Young Frankenstein."

Perhaps "Young Frankenstein" is not definitive Mel Brooks, although he directed it. Gene Wilder, who not only stars but co-wrote it with Mel, was the inspiration to make this movie. And it's his influence, I think, that brings the best out in Mel. When spoofing a historical era, movie genre or legendary tale, Brooks' satirical bag of tricks always included a hodgepodge of crude sight gags, burlesque schtick and stale Jewish jokes done at rapid-fire pace. The plot became an after-thought, working around the barrage of unsubtle humor. In targeting the classic ‘Frankenstein' series, however, Brooks worked in reverse, wisely focusing on plot, tone and atmosphere, then complementing them with clever, carefully constructed bits.

A rich staple of comedy pros from Brooks' fun factory (Mel graciously did not cast himself here) were employed to wring out the most laughs possible out of the fresh, inventive material. Gene Wilder plays the frizzy-haired, eruptive college professor Frederick Frankenstein (pronounced FRONK-en-STEEN), grandson of the infamous scientist, who gives in to the maniacal tendencies of his mad ancestor after inheriting the late Baron's Teutonic castle. His simmer-to-boil antics have seldom been put to better use, while only pop-eyed Marty Feldman, who gets to break the fourth wall as Igor (prounouced EYE-gor), the dim, oddball assistant, could milk a hump for all its worth. Kenneth Mars too gets a lot of mileage out of his one-armed, slush-mouthed inspector. In the film's most difficult role, Peter Boyle's appearance as the Monster is jarring at first, looking like a cross between Herman Munster and Uncle Fester. But he increasingly wins you over, earning even a little empathy along the way. His character is the most crucial for this parody to work right and he succeeds, figuring in a high percentage of the comedy highlights.

Representing the distaff side, Madeline Kahn is one cool cucumber, stealing focus whenever she's on camera as the placid, meticulous, hopelessly stuck-up fiancee Elizabeth; Cloris Leachman sinks her teeth into the role of the grotesque Frau Blücher, whose mere mention of her name sends horses into panic; and Teri Garr is delightful as a dinghy Deutschlander who assists Frankenstein in his wild experiments and other things.

An amalgamation of Universal's earliest and best ‘Frankenstein' movies ("Frankenstein," "Bride of Frankenstein" and "Son of Frankenstein," this spoof relies on close imitation and Brooks took painstaking methods to recreate the look and feel of James Whale's original sets, black-and-white photography and musical score. It pays off in spades.

Nearly 30 years later, this movie still leaves me in stitches. Wilder and Garr's revolving secret door bit is still priceless, as is Cloris Leachman's ‘ovaltine' routine and the Wilder/Boyle "Puttin' On the Ritz" tie-and-tail duet. Boyle and the unbilled Gene Hackman in the "Blind Hermit" scene ripped off from "Bride of Frankenstein" are uproarious, easily winning the award for sustained hilarity in a single sketch. Add Feldman's hump and Mars' troublesome mechanical arm and what you have is rib-tickling entertainment from start to finish. Madeline Kahn's post-coital, cigarette-smoking scene with ‘ol zipperneck' who leaves her in a sexual snit must go down in Hollywood annals as the funniest scene ever caught on camera. Certainly Jeanette MacDonald's puristic rendition of "Ah, Sweet Mystery of Life" will never have quite the same meaning again after you've heard Madeline's spin on it.

"Blazing Saddles" indeed has its insane moments but when it comes to toasting Mel Brooks in the years to come, "Young Frankenstein" should certainly stand front and center when representing this clown prince of comedy.


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