Y is for Young Frankenstein

For this year’s A-To-Z Challenge, my theme is MOVIES. I will be working my way through the alphabet during the month of April with movie titles and short blurbs about each movie. Today’s movie is “Young Frankenstein.”

“Young Frankenstein” is, arguably my favorite movie. Certainly my favorite comedy movie. It was a 1974 American comedy/horror film directed by Mel Brooks. The screenplay was co-written by Brooks and Gene Wilder. Wilder also starred in the lead role as the title character, a descendant of the infamous Dr. Victor Frankenstein, and Peter Boyle as the monster. The film co-starred Teri Garr, Cloris Leachman, Marty Feldman, Madeline Kahn, Kenneth Mars, Richard Haydn, and Gene Hackman.

The film is considered to be one of writer-producer-director Mel Brooks’ best films. It’s a nostalgic, hilarious spoof-tribute to classic horror films. “Young Frankenstein” was, like many of Brooks’ films, filled with physical gags, terrible puns, one-liners, and shattered taboos. Old-style wipes, fades to black and iris shots were numerous throughout the movie.

Dr. Frederick Frankenstein (Gene Wilder) is the grandson of the infamous Baron Von Frankenstein. But he wants to distance himself from this legacy, going so far as to insisting that his name be pronounced “Fronk-en-steen.” After telling his students at an American university that there is no way to generate life after nerves are severed and declaring that the work of his grandfather was “doodoo,” he is confronted and informed by Herr Falkstein (Richard Haydn) that he has inherited his family’s Transylvania estate and must travel there immediately.

Upon his arrival, Dr. Frankenstein meets Igor, (Marty Feldman), pronounced “Eye-gore,” his hunchback servant, and Inga (Teri Garr), his beautiful assistant. At the castle, he meets the frightening housekeeper, Frau Blücher (Cloris Leachman). Soon, Dr. Frankenstein discovers a secret entrance into his grandfather’s laboratory, where he finds a book written by his grandfather entitled, How I Did It, by Victor Frankenstein. Dr. Frankenstein, along with his sidekicks, and driven by a curiosity about his grandfather’s work, begins to experiment with creating life. Stealing the body of a hanged criminal (Peter Boyle), Dr. Frankenstein begins to recreate and improve upon his grandfather’s legacy. Igor, entrusted with the task of procuring the brain of a famed historian, drops the container holding the brain, damaging it beyond use. Instead, he takes the abnormal brain, assumed to be the brain of a criminal. Dr. Frankenstein is successful in his experiment and “The Monster” is brought to life.

Hilarity ensues as Dr. Frankenstein and his sidekicks, along with Inspector Kemp (Kenneth Mars), and a group of angry villagers, trying to contain “The Monster” who only wants to be loved, hates being mocked, and will only be soothed by the melancholy music of the violin. All ends well as Dr. Frankenstein succeeds with a partial “transference” meant to switch the brains of himself and “The Monster” in order to make “The Monster” more human. Dr. Frankenstein then marries Inga, and “The Monster” marries Elizabeth (Madeline Kahn), Dr. Frankenstein’s ex-fiancé.

A bit of trivia. You’re heard of the band Aerosmith, right? Well, band member Joe Perry came up with the guitar riff for a song and the band developed the track, but four days later Steven Tyler still didn’t have any lyrics for the song. With no lyrics forthcoming, they considered dumping the track, but inspiration struck when the band (minus Tyler and Perry) took a break and went for a walk around New York City, where they were recording.

“Young Frankenstein” was playing in Times Square, so they went to see it. There is a famous scene in the movie where Igor tells Dr. Frankenstein to “Walk This Way,” meaning to follow him. Dr. Frankenstein imitates Igor’s walk, which the band thought was hilarious. When they saw Tyler the next day, they informed him that the title of the song would be “Walk This Way.” Other than the title of the song, though, it and the movie had nothing in common.

Interesting factoid: “Young Frankenstein” was filmed in the same castle and with the same props and lab equipment (created and loaned by property manager Ken Strickfaden) as the original James Whale 1931 horror film “Frankenstein.”

If you’ve never seen this movie, and if you like to laugh, I highly recommend watching it. I promise you won’t regret it.


Previous A2Z 2022 posts: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

24 thoughts on “Y is for Young Frankenstein

  1. Paula Light April 29, 2022 / 6:02 am

    It’s definitely in my top 10! Cracks me up every time 😂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Sadje April 29, 2022 / 6:16 am

    This one is on my list to watch

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Lou Carreras April 29, 2022 / 6:16 am

    Walk This Way -long running gag in our family which people who are not fans do not get.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Marleen April 30, 2022 / 3:42 pm

      “Walk this way,” and “I’m walking here,” can be fun.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Lauren April 29, 2022 / 1:29 pm

    I didn’t think I’d like this. I DID .

    Liked by 1 person

  5. JT Twissel April 29, 2022 / 1:41 pm

    The outtakes from this movie are almost as funny as the movie itself!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Fandango April 29, 2022 / 11:03 pm

      That they are!

      Like

  6. Marilyn Armstrong April 29, 2022 / 4:36 pm

    Another favorite, although sometimes although sometimes, depending on mood, it might be High Anxiety OR The Producers.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Fandango April 29, 2022 / 11:05 pm

      What about Blazing Saddles? Aren’t you and Garry fans of Westerns?

      Like

      • Marleen May 5, 2022 / 1:15 am

        Speaking of westerns, or sort-of westerns, you might want to check into Outer Range.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Fandango May 5, 2022 / 6:26 am

          Sounds interesting. I may take a look-see.

          Like

  7. bushboy April 29, 2022 / 5:49 pm

    One of my top ten for sure Fandango 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Marleen April 30, 2022 / 3:38 pm

    I enjoyed reading the description and the factoid-trivia inclusions, and videos. Funny movie. I’ve seen it more than once, for sure.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. leigha66 June 14, 2022 / 4:10 am

    I had a strong feeling this would be your Y film. It is a wonderfully funny movie. Nice to learn it inspired the title of the Aerosmith hit Walk This Way.

    Liked by 1 person

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