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EVERYTHING comes wonderfully to life in this dead-on Mel Brooks horror spoof – non-stop laughs from beginning to end!
gbrumburgh15 May 2001
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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Possibly Mel Brooks' Best Film
ccthemovieman-111 March 2006
Over 30 years later this film still provides a ton of laughs to audiences.

It's always good to see the late Marty Feldman, whose face was hysterical and perfect for this film. In fact, he, along with the camera-work, really make this film one to watch and enjoy multiple times. Teri Garr was at her best and never looked as pretty as did in here. Add in the great talents of Gene Wilder, Madeline Kahn, Gene Hackman, Peter Boyle, Cloris Leachman, etc., and you have a memorable movie with a lot of memorable scenes.

Looking at the Frankenstien "monster" in a tuxedo or sitting up in bed with a cigar reading The Wall Street Journal are just a few of the outlandish scenes, along Wilder entering the mansion commenting on the "nice knockers."

Kudos, also, for Mel Brooks having the good sense to film this in black-and- white. It may have been his best film, although "Blazing Saddles" would give it a run for its money. My only complaint was Wilder's constant yelling, which becomes abrasive and can give you a headache after awhile! Still, this has to be considered one of the best "comedy classics" ever.
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A Track of Laughs.
tfrizzell30 April 2004
Mel Brooks' hilarious "Young Frankenstein" is one of those strange films that is so outlandish and makes fun of itself so much that it sucks the viewer into its twisted world and does not let up until the final credits roll. The titled character (Gene Wilder) decides to go to Transylvania and continue the research of a late relative. What follows is a comic joy-ride that involves the assistant (Marty Feldman), the love interest (Teri Garr), the stuck-up girlfriend (Madeline Kahn), the weird house-keeper (Cloris Leachman), the odd detective (Kenneth Mars) and naturally the monster himself (Peter Boyle in a priceless performance). Gene Hackman's whacked cameo as a the blind man who encounters the monster is one of the best sequences during the history of the cinema. A brilliant screenplay and beautiful black-and-white cinematography assist "Young Frankenstein" in being the total success that it is. 4.5 out of 5 stars.
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Comedic Genius
Spaceballs4 July 2002
Mel Brooks' tribute to the Frankenstein movies of the 40s is done with such love, such skill, and such side-splitting, fall-on-the-floor hilarity, that it has rightfully become a comedy classic. I first saw it in a movie theater: I had no idea what it was, had very little knowledge of Mel Brooks at the time, and expected to be bored. Instead, I found myself shrieking aloud with laughter that became so intense, I missed many of the major lines. Hence the video.

What can I say? From the wild-eyed Igor, the hunchbacked Transylvanian servant whose hump keeps changing from side to side, to the modern-day descendant of Baron von Frankenstein, determined not to follow in his great-grandfather's nefarious footsteps, to the nurse, a naif with appendages, to the fearsome Frau Bleucher, whose mere mention causes horses in the castle's faraway stables to neigh in the scene of the monster and his creator singing and dancing in black tie to "putting on the Ritz," this movie should come with a warning: "Danger--Uncontrollable Laughter May Become Chronic."

The cast is beyond superb. The late, wonderful British comedian Marty Feldman (Igor), who turned his congenital wandering eyes into comedic foils, never misses a beat as second banana to Gene Wilder, who plays the distraught Dr. Frankenstein to the hilt and beyond. Cloris Leachman, who looks like a cross between a witch and a warlock, plays the feared housekeeper Frau Bleucher (neighhh!!!), and a very young, beautiful, and buxom Teri Garr plays the nurse-assistant to the good doctor. Then there is the marvelous Madeline Kahn, who gave a bravura performance as the doctor's fiancee. The late comedienne's burst into operatic ecstasy during her rape by the monster is simply inspired, and is one of the comedic high points of the entire film. All of Kahn's considerable talents came into play during this movie; she was taken from us too soon.
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Young Frankenstein
Coxer994 June 1999
Zany spoof of the Frankenstein films with a superb script from Brooks and off the wall performances from Wilder, Boyle, Leachman and Kahn. Still, the funniest scene in the film belongs to Hackman, in an impressive cameo as the blind man (Bride of Frankenstein) who befriends Boyle's creature by offering him a cigar and...well, you can imagine the results. This was Brooks' best year; he had this and his other classic "Blazing Saddles," rolling together in the motion theatres. Audiences were definately rolling in the aisles and they still do.
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Probably the best comedy I've ever seen
MaxBorg894 October 2005
If you love comedies, but haven't seen Young Frankenstein, you're in for a delicious treat.After three decades, it still makes people laugh to death, and it's a must-see for every spoof lover in the world.

Actually, it's not a parody, but a homage by Mel Brooks to James Whale's classic,shot in black and white on the same location and with the same props.

The "hero" is Dr.Frederick Frankenstein(Gene Wilder), who, after a long period in which he hated it, decides to repeat his grandfather's experiment.The result is the Transylvanians want to kill him, despite the fact that the monster is the most harmless creature in the world.

This sort of sequel to the original Frankenstein is hilarious from start to finish, mostly because of two actors:Peter Boyle and Martin Feldman.The former is great as the mute creature(he'll compensate that by talking too much in Everybody Loves Raymond), particularly in the scene with Gene Hackman's Blind Man.But it's Feldman's Igor that makes this film unmissable.No wonder, given he's got the best lines("Wait Master.It might be go first").

With no doubt Mel Brooks' masterpiece.

The Scary Movie franchise wishes it was this good.
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It's pronounced EYE-gor
ericolsen195329 December 2004
Dialog from Young Frankenstein became part of cultural banter in a good many corners of the country immediately after this movie showed up in theaters. We loved every minute of it, "Give me a hand with the bags, Igor", hitting high singing notes while relating how your last date went, "Put the candle back!" "Nothing, dear, just a rat....filthy, slimy RAT!" "Roll Roll Roll In The Hay!" plus the immortal " ENORMOUS schwanstucker!". And what testosterone-filled 19-year-old buck didn't give serious thought to surprising his buddies with the hilarious trick of jamming a scalpel into this thigh? A very successful movie, and a slap in the face to those stuffy, elite- types who say Mel Brooks is not "a humorist". Well, dammit, he makes UNPRETENTIOUS people laugh, so perhaps the man knows funny when he sees it. Of course, as Blazing Saddles ruined most 1950's and 60's westerns for me for awhile, Young Frankenstein makes it very hard to take Karloff and all that bunch from the 1930's seriously any longer. Oddly, Mel can even make us laugh at resurrected, REALLY OLD gags; such as "Walk this way!" (The 3 Stooges). I'll never stop laughing at Young Frankenstein.
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Hilarious Mel Brooks send-up of the classic horror story
grantss28 January 2016
Hilarious Mel Brooks send-up of the classic horror story.

The grandson of the infamous Dr Frankenstein travels to his grandfather's castle and works on creating life...

One of Mel Brooks' better movies, and that says a lot. On this occasion, instead of his usual laugh-a-minute delivery, Brooks opts for quality over quantity. The jokes are few and further between, but are hilarious.

Brooks is aided and abetted by Gene Wilder who not only starred in the lead role, but co-wrote the screenplay. Wilder is great as Dr Frankenstein. Good support from Marty Feldman, Teri Garr and Madeline Kahn.
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An incredibly funny and affectionate send-up of the horror film in general and Frankenstein films in particular
llltdesq13 September 2001
There really isn't much I can say that doubtless someone else hasn't said. Brooks used the same location and sets that were used for the lab scenes in the original 1931 James Whale version. Anyone who doesn't laugh at either the scene with Gene Hackman as a blind hermit or the scene where Marty Feldman and Gene Wilder are discussing the brain that Feldman brought for transplant has absolutely no pulse whatsoever. Gloriously funny from start to finish. Kenneth Mars is a hoot and Liam Dunn is a scream in one of the most painful-looking funny scenes in cinematic history! Most Highly Recommended.
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This is one of Mel Brooks/Gene Wilder's best ; plenty of humor , entertainment and amusement
ma-cortes16 December 2013
Dr. Frankenstein's (Gene Wilder has stated that this is his favorite of all the films he's made) grandson, after years of living down the family reputation, inherits granddad's castle and repeats the experiments carried out many years ago . He says goodbye his pretty girlfriend Elizabeth (Madeline Kahn) and travels Transylvania . In the castle he finds a funny hunchback called Igor (Marty Feldman), a gorgeous lab assistant (Teri Garr) named Inga and the old housekeeper, Frau Blucher (Cloris Leachman) . Later on , he successfully reanimates a body (Peter Boyle) which soon flees and creates wreak havoc .

Hilarious Mel Brooks/Gene Wilder comedy filled with horror satire , amusing events , nice settings and lots of laughters . This spoof of the old Universal terror movies is fun from start to finish . The original cut of the movie was almost twice as long as the final cut, and it was considered by all involved to be an abysmal failure , it was only after a marathon cutting session that they produced the final cut of the film, which both Gene Wilder and Mel Brooks considered to be far superior to the original product ; at one point they noted that for every joke that worked, there were three that fell flat , so they went in and trimmed all the jokes that didn't work. Enjoyable support cast such as Madeline Kahn as Elizabeth , Cloris Leachman as Frau Blücher , Kenneth Mars as Inspector Kemp and brief acting by John Carradine , Leon Askin played a lawyer but was cut out , final film of Oscar Beregi Jr and of Richard Haydn , but most of his role was deleted from the final print . And uncredited Gene Hackman as the Blind Man, in fact parting line "I was gonna make espresso" was not in the script, but was ad-libbed by the same Gene Hackman during shooting .

When Mel Brooks found that Ken Strickfaden, who had made the elaborate electrical machinery for the lab sequences in the Universal Frankenstein films, was still alive in the Los Angeles area. He visited Strickfaden and found that Strickfaden had saved all the equipment and had it stored in his garage. Brooks made a deal to rent the equipment for his film and gave Strickfaden the screen credit he'd deserved, but hadn't gotten, for the original films. Evocative as well as luxurious cinematography in white and black by magnificent director of photography Gerald Hirschfeld . Lively and agreeable musical score by John Morris , Mel Brooks's usual .

Excellent makeup by artist Ed Butterworth, being helped by the classic William Tuttle as makeup creator , as just like in the original Frankenstein (1931), greenish face makeup was used on the monster to make his features more prominent . Perfect sets and impressive production design , in fact he electrical apparatus used in the movie was basically the same as the equipment used Frankenstein (1931) , including many of the same props and lab equipment . The motion picture was stunningly directed by Mel Brooks ((Blazing saddles , High anxiety , Twelve chairs , The producers , Spaceballs , History of the world).

It was voted this movie as one of "The 50 Greatest Comedies Of All Time" in 2006 and at the 1975 Golden Globe Awards, Cloris Leachman was nominated for Best Lead Actress in a Comedy/Musical, while Madeline Kahn was nominated for Best Supporting Actress for their work in this movie.
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Mel Brooks' valentine to the classic Universal horror films; his best too!
george.schmidt23 April 2003
YOUNG FRANKENSTEIN (1974) **** Gene Wilder, Peter Boyle, Madeline Kahn, Marty Feldman, Cloris Leachman, Kenneth Mars, Teri Garr, Gene Hackman. Mel Brooks' masterpiece horror comic spoof of all those Universal Frankenstein flicks of the Thirties expertly capturing the set design (actually from the 1931 classic!) and overall look of those timeless films. Wilder is the manic grandson of Baron von Frankenstein ("that's pronounced Frahnkensteen!) who goes back to merry ole Transylvania and follows in his family's footsteps ("vootshteps! vootshteps!") and creates a comic creation with Boyle as the chrome-domed, zippernecked monster who can do a mean song and dance of "Puttin' On The Ritz"! Hilarious sight gags and puns aplenty. Marty as the perpetually hump-shifting hunchback Igor ("that's Eye-gore!") is a scream with his oneliners and bugged eyes. Best line: the good doctor and Igor gravedigging with the summation: "Could be worse, could be raining!" and then downpours. Best bit: Foolishness with the Blind Hermit (Hackman) in one hysterical moment.
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That's Fronk-en-steen!
SmileysWorld25 September 2001
Much of the words I used to describe Mel Brooks' work in Blazing Saddles applies here as well.To have not one,but two masterpieces of comedy in the same year is incredible.I'm amazed at the way Brooks is able to capture the cinematography of a genre such as 30's horror films,and use it in a spoof of the genre.Sheer genius! As for casting,Marty Feldman is hysterical as Igor.Classic routines,excellent casting,and again,the cinematography make this film one of the all time great comedies.
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Comedy at it's Best
Sundevils426 March 2015
This is another movie that is quoted so many times. Sad part is many people haven't seen it and still quote it. Gene Wilder is at his best. I have to pause while typing because I start to laugh just thinking about it. The mixture of a nice visual humor, sarcasm, and dry humor that is as dry as the Sahara Desert. The cast is outstanding. It is so good that my kids enjoy the film as well. It is hard to believe that this movie has been around as long as it has. This movie could be released to the theaters this weekend and pack the house for great laughs. This is a must see film if you like comedy and want to see some of the masters at their best.
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What a great satire
AlsExGal10 October 2016
Mel Brooks has yet to find a movie genre he hasn't enjoyed satirizing, and this parody of Gothic horror is no exception. Frederick Frankenstein (Gene Wilder)excuse me..FRONK-EN-STEEN, is a neurosurgeon who is also teaching at a medical school.Frederick has spent his entire life distancing himself from his infamous grandfather. He inherits his demented grandfather's castle in Transylvania and becomes curious about his experiments to the point that he is enticed into repeating them.

Lending great support is Marty Feldman as Frankenstein's incompetent hump backed assistant Igor (pronounced EGOR), Madeleine Kahn as Frankenstein's seemingly frigid fiancée who comes visiting at the castle at an awkward time, Terri Garr as Frankenstein's buxom assistant, and Peter Boyle as the monster. Cloris Leachman almost steals the show as Frau Blucher, Victor Frankenstein's girlfriend who dreams of her dead beloved's experiments coming to fruition and whose name seems to scare horses.

It is full of sight gags, slapstick, one liners, and an outrageous spoof of "Puttin on the Ritz" that should have brought an irate Irving Berlin, author of the song, rising from his grave were this an actual horror film. The only problem is, Berlin was still alive when this film was made. I really can't tell you anymore or I'd ruin it for you.

Gene Wilder co-wrote this one with Mel Brooks, and I just can't see anybody but Wilder with his manic style of comedy that matches his wild hair starring in this one. Filmed in black and white to imitate the style of the 30's Frankenstein movies - and it borrows from all of the first three - Frankenstein, Bride of Frankenstein, and Son of Frankenstein, I do make one suggestion. It borrows so heavily from 1939's Son of Frankenstein that I suggest that if you have not seen that film, that you watch it before this one. Otherwise you will find yourself breaking out into laughter in "Son of Frankenstein" where laughter was never intended. Highly recommended as one of the great comedies ever filmed.
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Classic Mel Brooks
erichgt11 October 2015
Warning: Spoilers
Even at has worst Mel Brooks is one of the funniest writer/directors ever to exist and Young Frankenstein is far from his worst. A hilarious comedy of errors and misadventures it keeps the viewer in stitches from start to finish. Almost endlessly re-watchable and it never ceases to be totally hilarious. A beautifully balanced cast of actors lead by the venerable and talented Gene Wilder keeps the classic comedy moving along perfectly from start to finish.

Worth every penny this movie simply must be in any collection worth having, because what's movie night without a little Mel Brooks in the mix.
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Great Homage
schroeder-gustavo9 July 2015
Young Frankenstein is a great parody of classic horror films, particularly Frankenstein. The greatest thing about this Mel Brook's comedy classic is that you can really tell it was made with so much affection for both Frankenstein and Bride of Frankenstein.

I think most of the humor in the movie is hit or miss, but in my case it was mostly hit. There were some parts in the movie that tried to be funny but I didn't quite get it, mostly because it feels at times very immature and juvenile, but most at the time, the movie is actually very mature and it understands the type of movie that it is. Most of the time this is actually a very smart film, not everyone could achieve this affectionate parody, but Mel Brooks did it and that is praise-worthy. The movie features an amazing performance from Gene Wilder as Frankenstein, he was cast perfectly for the role. The cinematography really resembles that of the original Frankenstein films, which I loved.

Young Frankenstein is a great comedy, a movie that understands what it is doing most of the time and, although childish at times, I think fans of the original Frankenstein films and horror classics in general will enjoy this one.
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A classic spoof by the original master of the style
d-JCB15 June 2015
Been wanting to see this comedy classic for years now & with recently being sick at home, i finally had that chance… and boy it was a lotta fun! delivered by the originator of spoofs Mel Brooks with a film that's up there with his classic Blazing Saddles (1974) and in fact released the same year which is quite amazing considering both are so great! starring Gene Wilder as a teacher / scientist & grandson of the Dr. Frankenstein who first reanimated a corpse back into real life, Marty Feldman as the hilarious English spoken hunchback who is also the grandson of the famous hunchback who worked alongside the original Dr. Frankenstein, Teri Garr as the sexy assistant & Peter Boyle as the monster with a soft heart… the young Franenstein doesn't want to follow in his grandfather's footsteps but with news of a will from his grandfather, he ends up traveling to Transylvania and what eventuates is classic Mel Brooks, with so many golden moments & an awesome spoof on the horror genre… frankenstein-1974-mel-brooks-8-10-been
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Mel and Wilder hit the target!!
elo-equipamentos27 October 2017
Despite some Mel Brooks's bad movie this one deserve a proper respect, Gene Wilder quite often is funny, but he needs a partner, in this case Marty Feldman is indubitable a prefect choice, all star casting are fantastic, each little roles has their exactly significance to developing the picture, well done productions on little details in black and white backing memories from previous and old Universal's Frankenstein, the picture survived over the time!!!


First watch: 1987 / How many: 3 / Source: TV-DVD Rating: 7.5
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Top shelf Brooks
Mr-Fusion31 October 2015
"Young Frankenstein", now you're talking about one of the great spoof movies. And the key to this is its affectionate handling thereof. There's always the inescapable feeling that something goofy is lurking just around the corner. And the payoff is never cheap, even if it's silly as all hell.

Well, that's part of it. The other half is the glorious cast; not just foxy Teri Garr, but also Marty Feldman and Peter Boyle, who school us all on comic acting with little more than funny facial expressions and spartan dialogue. But either way, this movie's a certifiable classic and goes a long way in evoking that ole movie feel.

Awesome stuff.

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"AH, SWEET Mystery Of Life At Last I Found YOU"
bkoganbing2 December 2009
Mel Brooks set his comic genius to satirizing the horror film genre by taking one of the classic Universal horror characters, the monster created by Baron Von Frankenstein. Young Frankenstein brings the saga of the monster saga into the first half of the 20th Century. After several generations of experimentation with the origin of life, do you think that in Young Frankenstein the current scientist has finally got it right?

Well to find out you'll have to see Young Frankenstein and Gene Wilder's take on the mad scientist, the current 20th century version of that most misunderstood family of geniuses. Fascinating though that some of the same mistakes were made in bringing the monster played by Peter Boyle to life. Didn't they watch any of the old films?

However when physical science fails, psychology takes over as Wilder just thinks it might be a problem of soothing his fevered brain. The monster is also given a sex life in Young Frankenstein as Cloris Leachman finds certain attributes most attractive. In the end though an operation on that electrically charged table seems to solve both Boyle's and Wilder's problems.

Funniest scene in the film is when Wilder decides to take his show on the road after teaching him a few human type tricks. Puttin' On The Ritz was never done better on screen than that song and dance duo of Wilder and Boyle. It all comes to no good though when Mel Brooks borrows from King Kong to turn the event into a disaster.

Kenneth Mars does a marvelous imitation of the maimed Lionel Atwill from Son Of Frankenstein, borrowing a little from his Nazi playwright from The Producers. Listen closely and some of the best lines are thrown away by Marty Feldman as the hunchbacked assistant Ygor, pronounced EyeGor in this film. Teri Garr has some good moments as Wilder's Valley Girl type assistant Inga and Gene Hackman in his one scene as The Blind Man is hilarious.

Fans of the zany humor of Mel Brooks should not let Young Frankenstein get by.
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Give it the credit it deserves
uksnake00712 December 2006
I have never written a review before and I am afraid this is not much of one, but I just had to comment on the other appalling wright up this got. This film is a classic and make no mistake about that. And that is why it is in the top 250 films of all time. I watched this with my 16 year old son last night. It was his first time and I have watched it many times before. He laughed a lot and gave it a ten out of ten. The other night I watched 'Date Movie' but it could have been any of the rubbish comedy's that are produced in abundance today. Young Frankenstein beats them all hands down. It is brilliant and so is Gene Wilder.
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Mel Brook's most stylish and consistently funny film
TheFinalAlias14 October 2009
Warning: Spoilers
For my marathon of Non-Dracula Transylvania-based films I recently experienced(that's the only real way to describe it)Polanski's 'The Fearless Vampire Killers'. A great film to be sure, but not a very successful one in the comedy department, which is a shame since it's a huge problem in an otherwise fine film.

It may count as cheating since I've been a fan of *this* film since adolescence, but even after all these years, I knew I would encounter no such problem in this Mel Brooks classic.

'Young Frankenstein' has the distinction of being one of those few comedies which can be just as funny for those who have never seen the source material that's being spoofed(No problem for me as I was a fan of the Universal horrors since I was even younger and had read the book even earlier), and that still offers plenty of insight for those who have. And as unpromising as it sounds to make a comedic send up of Universal's horrors, which had displayed their ability to laugh at themselves as early as 1932; it ironically emerges as the very model of how to do a successful parody, and even more amazingly, it also offers some surprising insight into the themes of the Frankenstein legend itself, or at least; much more than Kenneth Branagh's overrated 'faithful' adaption ever did.

The plot is basically a comedic remake of Rowland V. Lee's 'Son of Frankenstein'(1939). The set-up is virtually the same: A descendant of the original Doctor(Gene Wilder)returns to his family castle where he is ostracized by suspicious villagers led by a one-armed inspector(Kenneth Mars) and is coerced into taking up his ancestor's mantle by an unhinged former associate. The difference is that the protagonist is the grandson of the original monster-maker, the Ygor character(Marty Feldman, whose character actually is more closely patterned after Dwight Frye as Fritz & Karl than he is Bela Lugosi as Ygor) is benevolent and rather it is a sinister housekeeper(Cloris Leachman) who influences the protagonist, it also involves the creation of a new monster(Peter Boyle, giving a comedic take on the monster that is worlds beyond Clancy Brown's in 'The Bride') rather than the reviving of the original one. This doesn't stop Brooks from managing to work in references to the original from 1931 and the 1935 sequel. In less skilled hands this could have been disastrous, but thankfully Brooks was hip to the fact that 1935's 'Bride of Frankenstein' was already a horror-comedy, and he wisely didn't attempt to poke fun at things already meant to be funny. Instead he does his best to IMPROVE them. It's this approach that shows that Brooks is smarter than your average satirical filmmaker, and it's what separates him(well, besides actually being talented) from the myriad of other 'satirists' who would have either attempted to point out 'flaws' the original filmmakers were clearly aware of(Mst3k), lifted scenes verbatim(Wayans Bros.)or made up random unfunny jokes that had nothing to do with what was being spoofed(Friedberg & Seltzer).

What's also remarkable is that, if one overlooks some small continuity issues(which the original Universals were JAM-PACKED with)such as names and locations(It's because this film takes place in 'Transylvania' that I am reviewing it for this marathon), as well as the comedic tone; this could actually be seen as a follow-up to the first 3 Universal Frankenstein films. Just imagine Gene Wilder's character as an adult version of Donny Dunagan from 'Son of Frankenstein' with a changed name(He mentions being embarrassed by his lineage and this leads to a running gag where he insists his name is pronounced 'Fronkensteen', making him not a self-hating Jew, but a self-hating mad scientist...who's also a Jew)to escape publicity and it works. They even have the same curly hair and Americanized personality. This suggest Brooks was aiming not at a mean-spirited comedic attack on decades old films, but at a loving homage/sequel to them instead. I can respect that.

I could ramble on all day at how well it does justice to the original films and even the novel(For example; lots of people mention how when the Monster says 'You are my creator but I am your master' to Victor in the book how the Monster is in some ways a twisted reflection of Victor in that he exceeds him in all levels, proving more cunning, more sympathetic, more powerful and even has longer 'lustrous black hair' and how he actually succeeds in 'nailing' Elizabeth' by killing her long before Victor ever has sex with her; suggesting that the Monster, through a symbolic rape, is even better in bed than his creator! In 'Young Frankenstein' this subtext becomes overt: Here, the Monster DOES 'rape' Elizabeth, and she falls in love with him because of his 'Enormous schwanstucker' and deserts the doctor, leaving him to marry a busty servant girl(Terri Garr) he was sleeping with anyway)but, I think I'll rap up by saying that this film is as perfect as a parody can get, good atmospheric music, great production values and Oscar-worthy performances by all.

Still, as much as I like experiencing 'local color' in foreign countries, and as much as I enjoyed Kenneth Mars's character, I hope that the Romanian police don't have accents THAT thick when I visit.~
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fading in time
thelastonehere31 August 2005
I watched this with a classroom of Spanish students learning English. Due to some of the archaic slang some of this film passed them by--- and not for bad reasons. This film is getting old. Yes it is a classic and I still find it funny--- only so funny. The jokes are lined up and knocked down and there is a constant energy from Gene Wilder. Marty Feldman gets the full cake after all these years. His portrayal of Igor is still one of the best. He fulfills the need of the clumsy comedian that gets you through some of the dull times in the other Frankenstien flicks--- but in this case Igor walks away with most of the show. There is a dancing sequence which still holds up after all this time and reveals Gene Wilder's talents a bit better. The Spanish students generally liked the film and it got me out of teaching (speaking) for 106 minutes---- they also wrote some nice movie reviews in English. I wish I still had them--- one student really slammed the film as being generally 'unwatchable'--- I applauded her freedom to say what she thought and it got her to use some more complex English.

...and i'll leave it at that.
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One of the funniest movie of all time
jacobjohntaylor14 March 2016
This movie is very funny. The mean characters are the grand son of Doctor Frankenstein The grand son of Ygor and a monster that they created. This movie is a satire of the Frankenstein movies from the 30's and 40's. I am a big fan off these movies. And I fine this movie to be very funny. One the funniest movies I have ever seen. It got an 8 but is such a great movie that 8 is underrating it. I do not like a lot of comedy movies. And I have to say this is one of the better ones. Mel Brooks is a great director. Most film directors do not know what funny is. But he does know. Gene Wilder is great actor and writer. Mel Brooks is also and great writer. This movie is a most. If you want to laugh see this movie.
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What's so funny?
alexandermangoldt18 February 2006
Warning: Spoilers
I really don't know what sense of humor you need to have in order to find this movie hilarious. For all I know, I didn't catch myself laughing more than twice throughout the whole movie. Most of the jokes where simple slapstick, like Gene Hackman as the blind man pouring wine and soup accidentally all over the monster. And what with the German accent. As far as I know, Transylvania is not and never was a part of Germany, so why the thick German accent. No, honestly, for a whizkid like me there weren't any sophisticated jokes and hardly a scene managed to crack me up. Mel Brooks success is and will remain a mystery to me and I don't know how more movies of him I have to see in order to find out what's so great about him. I worked in a cabaret once and I found out that a lot of people just laughed because the guy on stage was a comedian, not because he was funny. And one particular comedian (German Helge Schneider) could do anything he wanted (ordinary things like pick up a cup of coffee) he had the whole crowd cheering. I guess this is what you call the Pygmalion effect. Hahaha!
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