Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Young Frankenstein (1974)

TOP 100 FILMS: #87

Years after the original experiment ended in disaster, the grandson Dr. Frankenstein (Gene Wilder) inherits his castle with the intent on restoring his family name. Soon after his arrival he discovers the original lab his grandfather worked out, and is slowly coerced into re-doing his grandfather's research... but to what end?

I noticed something peculiar was I was doing my top 100 films last year. For all my love of comedy, especially stand-up comedy, there was maybe 10-20 true comedy films that I actually enjoyed (others being of the Blazzing Saddles, Monty Python, and Shaun of the Dead variety). Though when all the dust is settled my all time favorite has to be undisputedly Mel Brook's 1974 comedy masterpiece, Young Frankenstein.

With an amazing comedic cast of Gene Wilder, Peter Boyle (Monster), Marty Feldman (Igor), Cloris Leachman (Frau Blucher), Teri Garr (Inga), and Kenneth Mars (Inspector Kemp), you just have to laugh until you can't any more. Mel Brooks has a gift for the absurd, and while it doesn't always work out, when it does, it's comedy genius. Young Frankenstein has all the absurdity you could ever want, great gags, each memorable, each of which will put a smile on your face with little effort, and little thought necessary.

Perhaps the most amazing thing about Young Frankenstein is Brooks+Wilder's love of combining both the cheesy hollywood Frankenstein with the attributes of the original Shelly novel (which is very very different from the 1931 film in case you've never read it and you absolutely should). At the same time Brooks seems accutely aware of both the comical and at the same time possibility for moral underlyings that lay throughout the story. At the same time Brooks capitalizes beautifully at every comedic situation: Monster performing the ritz, check - Gene Hackman cameo as a blind clutz looking for companionship with the monster, check - odd monster on human action, check - obligatory innuendo on the necessity for the monster to be "endowed," check. Really, though just explaining the film does it no justice, in fact I might be committing a crime by even trying to do so.

Young Frankenstein is one of those comedy masterpieces you just have to see, and no watching the musical version does not count.

1 better thoughts:

LuckyCricket said...

Great movie. Period.

Related Posts with Thumbnails