Young Frankenstein (1974)

Dr. Frankenstein's grandson, Frederick von Frankenstein, reluctantly decides to follow in his ancestor's footprints in Mel Brooks' affectionate parody of horror films.

Frederick would like to forget his heritage, insisting that his university students pronounce his last name "Fronkensteen" but when news arrives that Frederick has inherited his grandfather's Transylvanian estate, the young Frankenstein travels to see his new digs.

youngfrankenstein1In Transylvania, Frederick meets Igor (pronounced "Eye-gore"), whose grandfather worked for Frederick's grandfather. With the voluptuous blonde Inga in tow, Frederick and Igor travel to the Castle Frankenstein.

At the castle, the group is greeted by the terrifying Frau Blucher, whose very name causes horses to whinny.

Despite Frederick's insistence that he wants no part of his grandfather's experiments, the young Frankenstein is drawn by strange music to the old lab, where he finds a conveniently placed copy of "How I Did It" by Victor von Frankenstein. Inspired, Frederick builds a body and dispatches Igor to retrieve a brain.

Unfortunately, the hunchbacked assistant returns with an abnormal brain and the resulting monster is impossible to control. The Monster escapes into the nearby village, first encountering a young girl, then a blind man with a clumsy streak.

Frederick gets his creation back for a spell, training him for a tandem Puttin' on the Ritz soft shoe, but when even that fails, Frederick must consider drastic measures to save the creature he has created and come to love.

Young Frankenstein was shot in black and white and used many of the original settings from Universal's 1930's Frankenstein films.

Anachronism was the key, and the character of the demented scientist gave Gene Wilder a fresh license for his rages.

Meanwhile, Peter Boyle was genuinely touching as the creature who longs to don white tie and tails, and dance Puttin' on the Ritz with his creator!

If we are going to give Mel Brooks his due, this is probably the place to do it (although the 1968 movie The Producers was excellent). He was certainly at his least frantic and most film-reverent here. His later efforts were pretty terrible.

Dr. Frederick von Frankenstein
Gene Wilder

Marty Feldman

Teri Garr
The Monster

Peter Boyle

Madeline Kahn
Frau Blucher

Cloris Leachman
Inspector Kemp

Kenneth Mars
Herr Falkstein

Richard Haydn
Mr. Hilltop

Liam Dunn

Mel Brooks