|Index||3 reviews in total|
Gene Wilder, the star of the movie which is discussed here, comes
across very relaxed and interesting to hear. I found he did a fine job
in a discussion on another DVD: "Willy Wonka and The Chocolate
Factory." I point this out because he's the only actor who is
interviewed, talking about this 30-plus-year-old film. Even though I
was very disappointed we didn't hear from director Mel Brooks, or
actors Teri Garr and some of the others involved with this movie,
Wilder still kept me interested in watching. I have added incentive to
watch this because I think it is Brooks' best movie. I just love this
film. Sadly, a number of the actors, such as Peter Boyle, Marty Feldman
and Madeline Kahn have all passed away but it might have been fun to
hear from Garr or Cloris Leachman.
At any rate, since the cinematography in this movie is so incredible I was interested in hearing what cameraman Gerald Hirschfeld had to say about it. This was the first black-and- white movie in a number of years and nobody in Hollywood wanted to work in that medium, so it was struggle for Brooks to convince others he wanted it as such.
Wilder also had a huge impact on this movie because he wrote much of the screenplay and had the starring role. Brooks then took over as director and also worked with Wilder on the script so those two, along with Hirschfeld, probably contributed to most of the movie. It was particularly interesting to hear about the disputes Wilder and Brooks had about certain scenes and how they worked them out.
To be honest, the average viewer probably would be bored with this "bonus feature" but loving the film as I do, I was glad to learn anything I could about the inner workings of it.
I think everyone, however, enjoys "outtakes" and some of those scenes in which Wilder cracked up almost had me in tears. Feldman really made him laugh, to the point where Gene had to use 5-10 takes before he could finish the scene with a straight face! In fact, Hirschfeld and others comment here about all the hilarity on the set, how everyone just laughed and laughed their way through this film.
Making Frankensense of Young Frankenstein (1996)
*** (out of 4)
Gene Wilder, cinematographer Gerald Hirschfeld and producers Michael Gruskoff and Stan Allen are interviewed about the making of Mel Brooks' YOUNG FRANKENSTEIN. The documentary lasts just 36-minutes and is broken down into several categories including the script, various scenes, the cast, shooting in black and white, the sets and lighting and of course the final product. On the whole this is a very entertaining look at the making of the movie but at the same time it's impossible to say it's definitive. As you can tell, many, many famous people from the making of the film were not included in this documentary and it's a real shame. It's hard to call anything definitive without the director on hand to talk about the film so with Brooks missing there's just nothing that can really be said. Not to mention the countless cast members that are missing. With that being said, what's here is still pretty entertaining and especially since Wilder goes into such great details about coming up with the story, writing the script and then finally getting the finished product out there. There's some great talk about countless preview screenings where they made trims to the picture and one of the movie's highlights was almost cut out by Brooks before a preview audience saved it. Fans of the movie are certainly going to enjoy hearing all of these stories and it's especially great at least having Wilder on hand. Hopefully one day going forward we'll get a more detailed look at the movie but for the time being this here is nice.
This making-of short on the Mel Brooks film is chaptered by Script, Scenes, Cast Of Characters, In Black And White, Sets And Lighting, Mel, Tricks Of The Trade, Fine Tuning, and A Classic headings. Of the principal actors only Gene Wilder is interviewed, and Brooks is absent. The short could be thought of as an extended interview with Wilder. There are excerpts from the film, outtakes, on-the-set stills, and a trailer narrated by Brooks. Some interesting points are the idea of having studio secretaries preview the film whilst in his audio commentary on the DVD, Brooks says that he only works to please himself. How Marty Feldman and Peter Boyle were cast with Wilder because they were all represented by the same agent. How Wilder offered Madeline Kahn the role of Inga but she preferred the part of his fiancé. Unvoiced antipathy between Brooks and DOP Gerald Hirschfeld, and the mechanics of the flying cable for the little girl. But an edit to jump over dialog in one scene is explained but remains obtuse when what was excised is not shown.
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