Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Young Frankenstein

Young Frankenstein (1974)
Directed by Mel Brooks
Written by Mel Brooks, Gene Wilder, and Mary Shelley
Starring Gene Wilder, Madeline Kahn, Teri Garr, Peter Boyle, Marty Feldman and Cloris Leachman
Featuring Kenneth Mars, Richard Haydn, Gene Hackman, Liam Dunn and Danny Goldman

It's that time of year when it's good to watch horror movies, but on the whole I don't care for them.  I don't do slasher movies or torture porn at all.  Occasionally, a movie, such as The Ring, will scare the bejesus out of me, an experience I do not relish.  It must be an age thing:  I didn't mind having the pants scared off of me when I was in my teens and early twenties.  Back then I watched Halloween and Friday the 13th (the first one), and rode home from the movies afterwards, seeing masked Michaels and Jasons behind every tree.  But nowadays, I like to remain in a calm state during and after a movie, so I was most agitated this past weekend when, for his sixteenth birthday, my son wanted me to take him and three friends to see Sinister.  As the movie was R-rated, I couldn't just drop them off; I had to go in and watch it with them.  Fortunately, the movie was rather banal and did not give me nightmares.  In any case, Arsenic and Old Lace and Ghostbusters are more my speed.

My favorite movie to watch in the weeks leading up to Halloween is Mel Brooks' Young Frankenstein.  A parody of 1930s classical horror flicks, the movie is filmed in black and white, and uses other classic cinema techniques of the horror genre, including scene transitions such as iris outs, wipes, and fades to black, and a significant period soundtrack by composer John Morris.  Dr. Victor Frankenstein's grandson (Gene Wilder), who has spent his life distancing himself from his notorious relative, even changing the pronunciation of his last name, inherits the family castle in Transylvania.  When he finds his grandfather's how-to manual for reanimating corpses, he finds he is not so different from his crazy ancestor.  With Igor (Marty Feldman) and Inga (Teri Garr) assisting him in the laboratory, he gives life to a monster (Peter Boyle) who only wants to be loved.  Following is a snippet of dialogue from the scene in which Frankenstein meets Igor.

Igor: Dr. Frankenstein...
Dr. Frederick Frankenstein: "Fronkensteen."
Igor: You're putting me on.
Dr. Frederick Frankenstein: No, it's pronounced "Fronkensteen."
Igor: Do you also say "Froaderick"?
Dr. Frederick Frankenstein: No... "Frederick."
Igor: Well, why isn't it "Froaderick Fronkensteen"?
Dr. Frederick Frankenstein: It isn't; it's "Frederick Fronkensteen."
Igor: I see.
Dr. Frederick Frankenstein: You must be Igor.
[He pronounces it ee-gor]
Igor: No, it's pronounced "eye-gor."
Dr. Frederick Frankenstein: But they told me it was "ee-gor."
Igor: Well, they were wrong then, weren't they?

What movies do you like to watch for Halloween?  (Click here for a list of good Halloween movies.)

To order from Amazon:
Young Frankenstein
Young Frankenstein [Blu-ray]


  1. Young Frankenstein always makes me laugh. I need to watch that one again. -T

    1. It is hilarious. We watched An American Werewolf in London and Arsenic and Old Lace this week, too. Great Halloween movies.