Young Frankenstein (Classic Film Pick)
Mel Brooks caught comic lightning in a bottle in 1974 with his appropriately black-and-white spoof of James Whale's 1931 classic horror film. Brooks was on a tear with his hugely popular film "Blazing Saddles" when he unleashed the innuendo-laced "Young Frankenstein" on unsuspecting audiences who found themselves with stomach aches from sustained fits of laughter. Gene Wilder brilliantly plays the semi-mad college lecturer Frederick Frankenstein who insists on the proper pronunciation of his name as "Fronkenschteen." As the grandson of the more famous mad scientist, Wilder's zany doctor inherits his family's Transylvanian estate where he travels and is soon inspired to pick up with his grandfather's experiments of creating life from parts of corpses. Frankenstein's comely blonde lab assistant Inga (Teri Garr) distracts the doctor from his soon visiting fiancé Elizabeth (hilariously played by Madeline Kahn), and with the help of the very funny Marty Feldman as Igor (pronounced Eyegor), makes a Frankenstein monster of his very own. Peter Boyle fill's the creature's clunky dancing shoes--yes there's a song-and-dance-sequence, and Cloris Leachman strikes many a funny chord as Frau Blucher, whose name excites horses whenever its mentioned. Brooks used many of the actual props created by Kenneth Strickfaden from Whale's original film that give "Young Frankenstein" an atmosphere of reverent delight beneath its bawdy puns and outrageous physical humor.
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