A young neurosurgeon inherits the castle of his grandfather, the famous Dr. Victor von Frankenstein. In the castle he finds a funny hunchback, a pretty lab assistant and the elderly housekeeper. Young Frankenstein believes that the work of his grandfather was delusional, but when he discovers the book where the mad doctor described his reanimation experiment, he suddenly changes his mind.
For what we are about to see next, we must enter quietly into the realm of genius. Young Frankenstein is directed by Mel Brooks who also co-writes the screenplay with Gene Wilder. It stars Wilder, Marty Feldman, Peter Boyle, Teri Garr and Madeline Kahn. Music is by John Morris and cinematography by Gerald Hirschfeld. Filmed in black and white, Brook's movie is an affectionate spoof of the Frankenstein movies that came out of Universal Studios back in the 1930s. There wolf, there castle. You are either a Mel Brooks fan or not, there doesn't seem to be any middle ground. However, even his most ardent fans admit not all of his productions have paid dividends, but when on song, as he was in 1974 (Blazing Saddles also released), it's justifiable that those fans proclaim him as a spoof maestro. Ineviatbly a bit tame when viewed today, Young Frankenstein is still a picture of high comedy and clinical execution of the film making craft. Everything works, from acting performances, the gags that are both visual and aural delights, to the set design of the Frankenstein castle. It also boasts a smooth storyline, this is not a hodge-podge of ideas lifted from those Universal monster classics, it has a spin on the story and inserts its own memorable scenes along the way (Puttin' on the Ritzzzzzzzz, Oh my!). Of its time for sure, but still great entertainment for the Mel Brooks fan. 8/10
When I had the opportunity Ro watch this film again after decades, due to a Cloris Leachman tribute, I couldn’t resist, despite feeling there was a risk of a familiar problem: that of me not liking a program or movie as a mature adult as much as I had as a young man. I needn’t have worried. This is not Mensa material here, but it is a good example of what Mel Brooks did best, spoof movie genres or other cinematic cliches. Everyone seems to have great fun making this movie, and it shows. Some of the bits have become catch phrases: the horse neighing when a certain name is mentioned, the hilarious sight gag of the secret door (“Put the candle back!), and other classic lines. This doesn’t make any of my Favorites list, but it was well worth revisiting it for the laughs and a glimpse at what my younger self thought was funny, and older self agrees with him.