An affectionate parody that pays homage to the FRANKENSTEIN films (from the novel FRANKENSTEIN by Mary Shelley) directed by James Whale in the 1930s, YOUNG FRANKENSTEIN is both a zany comedy and a cinematic tour de force. Written by director Mel Brooks and the film's star, Gene Wilder, YOUNG FRANKENSTEIN has all the usual--and in this case slightly unusual--suspects: the reluctant scientist Frederick Frankenstein, who is actually the grandson of the infamous creature-creator (pronounced "Fronken-steen" and played by Wilder), his spoiled fiancée (Madeline Kahn), Igor the pop-eyed hunchback (Marty Feldman), his dizzy assistant (Teri Garr), the castle's hideous head housekeeper (Cloris Leachman), and, of course, the Monster (Peter Boyle). Highlights include the sets, which are the original ones used in the Whale films; the beautiful black-and-white cinematography; and the fine screenplay. Combining noirish elegance with uproarious sight gags and double entendres is a feat Brooks pulls off fabulously, directing the wonderful ensemble to act with sensitivity and humanistic feelings as well as with lunatic abandon. YOUNG FRANKENSTEIN is a treat from beginning to end.
Madeline Kahn - American actress, PAPER MOON, BLAZING SADDLES
Madeline Gail Wolfson - American actress, PAPER MOON, BLAZING SADDLES
Kenneth Mars - American Supporting Actor
Gene Wilder - Actor/Director/Writer
Jerry Silberman - Actor/Director/Writer
Gerald Silberman - Actor/Director/Writer
Mel Brooks - American Director/Writer/Producer/Comedian
Melvin Kaminsky - American Director/Writer/Producer/Comedian
Gene Hackman - Oscar-winning actor, THE FRENCH CONNECTION
Eugene Alder - Oscar-winning actor, THE FRENCH CONNECTION
John C. Howard - Editor
Gerald Hirschfeld - American Director of Photography
Gerry Hirschfeld - American Director of Photography
John Morris - Composer
Marty Feldman - Actor/Screenwriter/Director
Teri Garr - American actress, TOOTSIE
Cloris Leachman - Phyllis of TV's "Phyllis" & "Mary Tyler Moore Show"
Peter Boyle - American Actor
Theatrical Release: December 15, 1974. YOUNG FRANKENSTEIN is number 13 on the American Film Institute's list of America's 100 Funniest Movies. The film employs much of the original laboratory equipment used in the original FRANKENSTEIN, designed by Kenneth Strickfaden, who had the stuff set up in his basement and lent Brooks the set, creating some new pieces to go with the old. The film was shot at a 1:85 frame ratio, as were the old FRANKENSTEIN films, and this helped to create the movie's classic look, as did the use of iris outs, spins, and wipes. Gene Wilder came up with the original concept for the film while starring in Brooks's BLAZING SADDLES and approached him with the idea. Said Wilder of working on the script with Brooks, "I would say, 'I don't want this to be BLAZING FRANKENSTEIN,' and he'd answer, 'I don't want an art film that only 14 people see.'" Kenneth Mars, who played the crazy Nazi playwright in Brooks's THE PRODUCERS, created a parody of Lionel Atwill in SON OF FRANKENSTEIN in his characterization of Inspector Kemp in YOUNG FRANKENSTEIN.
"...Mel Brooks' masterpiece....[It] turned out to be one of Twentieth Century-Fox's biggest hits of the era..." - 01/10/1997 USA Today, p.3D
"...With sterling support from Teri Garr, Cloris Leachman and the superb Marty Feldman..." - 09/01/2000 Total Film, p.102
"...[With] some inspired comic performances from Peter Boyle and Gene Wilder..." - 12/01/2000 Sight and Sound, p.63
"[Brooks'] funniest movie. Gene Wilder as Frankenstein's grandson is all repressed hysteria, Marty Feldman a superbly deformed Igor..." - 02/01/2006 Uncut, p.105