Young Frankenstein is an American comedy film directed by Mel Brooks and written by Brooks and Gene Wilder. The film is a parody of several classic horror films, in particular the adaptions of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. It stars Gene Wilder in the title role of Frankenstein, who is the descendant of the infamous scientist, who has given him the key to restoring life in dead manner. Also stars Teri Garr, Marty Feldman, Cloris Leachman, Peter Boyle, Madeline Kahn, Kenneth Mars, Richard Haydn, and the ever-popular cameo of Gene Hackman. (Rated PG)(Running Time: 106 minutes)
After almost forty years, this film manages to make audiences still laugh like crazy. I am one of those Mel Brooks fans, and I dare say, this is his crowning achievement! It is often times harder to make a funny movie rather than a “normal drama”, and to make such a brilliantly (well, I suppose stupid-funny) crafted comedy in honor of the vintage horror classics is quite the challenge enough!
Brooks’s humor is not for everybody, but this film is also a classic by the courageous black-and-white photography, Marty Feldman’s Igor, and of course one of the best movie lines of all time, “Stay close to the candles. The staircase can be treacherous.”
A little history of the film, the year previous when Brooks was working on Blazing Saddles and was about to jump into principal photography, he needed a Waco Kid on the stop and remembered his friend Gene Wilder, who agreed to fill the role if Brooks agreed to help him with his “Frankenstein movie”. Once Blazing Saddles was complete and a huge audience and box office success, they went right into working on Wilder’s idea, which Brooks slowly became more and more involved in.
Ultimately, the film was one of the top grossing films at the box office that year, bringing in over $86 million (without inflation) on a minimum budget of $2.5 million. It was nominated for two Academy Awards for Best Sound and Best Adapted Screenplay. It further launched the careers of all the filmmakers and actors and has left an amazing legacy.
Oh, a (low-ish) 6 out of 7 stars! Such a hysterical, classic, well-done movie that I will watch many more times over the years, I’m sure! Now like I said, this humor ain’t for everyone, but if you get into it, you will find yourself withering on the floor in laughter.