Young Frankenstein

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Always Full Price

Werewolf! Werewolf?! There! There wolf. There castle!
Would you mind telling me whose brain I did put in?
Abby someone. Abby Normal. I’m almost certain that was the name.

I recently purchased the new special edition laserdisc of Young Frankenstein – it has bloopers, deleted scenes, and a running director’s commentary audio track option. Now, this movie is one of the best comedies ever made, and if you’ve never seen it, you really should – it’s the Gone With The Wind of parody/homage movies. Mel Brooks’ commentary is not as illuminating as others (The Mask on DVD director’s commentary is actually GRIPPING! It’s really great!) I’ve heard; he rambles about personal memories on the set and how nice Kenny Mars is and he reiterates information we are looking at, but occasionally tells us something new and interesting. Better just to watch and adore.

The production design is meticulous in its obsession with accuracy – the actual original equipment from the 1931 Frankenstein movie, the lighting and camera angles. Gene Wilder (who also co-wrote it – perhaps Mel would do well to write with Gene again, judging by his more recent films) is perfect as the grandson in denial. Teri Garr is innocent and saucy, Madeline Kahn is just perfect, Peter Boyle is the best monster ever, and Marty Feldman was genetically engineered to play Igor. The musical score (available though obscure internet CD sites and probably not officially sanctioned) is as important a character as the human actors.

If you have only seen Mel’s junk like Dracula: Dead and Loving It and Robin Hood: Men in Tights, I implore you to rediscover the Mel Brooks from the late 60s’ and early 70’s. His humor is crass and politically incorrect but he offends everyone, so it’s OK. Blazing Saddles, Young Frankenstein, and arguably The History of the World Part I are real joys. Rediscover Young Frankenstein if you haven’t seen it in a while. It is a true classic.

If it were in the theatres, pay full price! As a video rental, well, get the best quality you can, lots of friends, and a big TV.

*Always on my Top Ten

MPAA Rating PG
Release date 1978
Time in minutes 106
Director Mel Brooks
Studio 20th Century Fox