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Young Frankenstein (1974)

PG | | Comedy | 15 December 1974 (USA)
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2:39 | Trailer

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An American grandson of the infamous scientist, struggling to prove that his grandfather was not as insane as people believe, is invited to Transylvania, where he discovers the process that reanimates a dead body.

Director:

Mel Brooks

Writers:

Gene Wilder (screen story and screenplay), Mel Brooks (screen story and screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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Popularity
2,142 ( 151)
Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 11 wins & 5 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Gene Wilder ... Dr. Frederick Frankenstein
Peter Boyle ... The Monster
Marty Feldman ... Igor
Madeline Kahn ... Elizabeth
Cloris Leachman ... Frau Blücher
Teri Garr ... Inga
Kenneth Mars ... Inspector Kemp
Richard Haydn ... Herr Falkstein
Liam Dunn ... Mr. Hilltop
Danny Goldman Danny Goldman ... Medical Student
Oscar Beregi Jr. ... Sadistic Jailor (as Oscar Beregi)
Arthur Malet ... Village Elder
Richard Roth Richard Roth ... Insp. Kemp's Aide
Monte Landis Monte Landis ... Gravedigger
Rusty Blitz Rusty Blitz ... Gravedigger
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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! See more »

Genres:

Comedy

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official site

Country:

USA

Language:

English | German

Release Date:

15 December 1974 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Young Frankenstein See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$2,800,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$86,273,333

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$86,273,333
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Cloris Leachman, on National Public Radio's "Fresh Air" on June 3, 2009, claimed that Mel Brooks told her that the name of her character Frau Blücher resembles the word for "glue" in German, hence the reason for the horse whinnies. If he really said this, then either he was pulling her leg (as was his habit) or he was misinformed. The closest word for glue in German dialect is "Kleber". Frau means Mrs. and Blücher is a very common name, essentially equivalent to Jones. According to supplementary information on the DVD the horse's terror at her name is meant to show that she is a terrible and frightening person and, according to Gene Wilder, "Lord only knows what she does to them when no one is around." On the other hand, they react to the name, not her presence, weakening this idea. One idea has been proposed that the name reminds them of an incident in the career of Prussian Field Marshal Gebhardt von Blücher, where his horse died under him in the war of 1815, or maybe it's just a silly gag with no meaning at all. See more »

Goofs

As Frau Blucher frees the Monster from the operating table, she caresses the top of his head with her right hand, but in the inserted shot of the Monster's head from her POV, her hand is not there. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Dr. Frederick Frankenstein: If we look at the base of a brain, which has just been removed from the skull, there's very little of the mid-brain that we can actually see. Yet, as I demonstrated in my lecture last week, if the under aspects of the temporal lobes are gently pulled apart, the upper portion of the stem of the brain can be seen. The so-called "brain stem" consists of the mid-brain, a rounded protrusion called the pons, and a stalk tapering downwards called the medulla oblongata, which passes out of...
[...]
See more »

Crazy Credits

Based on characters in the novel "Frankenstein" by Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley. See more »

Alternate Versions

In some versions of the movie, a scene which showed Dr. Frankenstein demonstrating the Monster's power of balance by placing an empty milk bottle in one of the creature's hands, and a full milk bottle in the other hand, was later cut. For years, the only existing media of this scene was a photo in the paperback book of YF. However, in fall 2008, footage of this scene finally appeared on the blu-ray edition of the film, in which two angles of the missing scene were shown. See more »


Soundtracks

Ave Maria
(uncredited)
Music by Franz Schubert
Played on violin by the blind man
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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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 gbrumburghSee 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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