Young Frankenstein (1974)

young frankenstein poster 1974 movie mel brooks
9.5 Overall Score
Story: 9/10
Acting: 10/10
Visuals: 9/10

Great cast works together perfectly

If you don't like Mel Brooks, you might not like it

Movie Info

Movie Name:  Young Frankenstein

Studio:  20th Century Fox

Genre(s):  Comedy

Release Date(s):  December 15, 1974

MPAA Rating:  PG

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Well, maybe if we put our heads together

Dr. Frederick Frankenstein (Gene Wilder) is trying to forget his grandfather’s past as a mad inventor and enjoy his life with his fiancée Elizabeth (Madeline Kahn). When he learns that there might be some truth to his grandfather’s legendary experiments, Frederick heads to his family castle where he meets his bombshell lab assistant Inga (Teri Garr), the hunchback Igor (Marty Feldman), and the castle mistress Frau Blücher (Cloris Leachman). When Igor (pronounced I-gore) steals an abnormal brain, Frankenstein’s Monster (Peter Boyle) might be doomed to rampage all over the country again.

Directed by Mel Brooks and written by Brooks and Wilder, Young Frankenstein originally had a horribly long runtime. Cut down and reedited, the film was met with great reviews and is considered a comedy classic. The movie was nominated for multiple awards including Cloris Leachman and Madeline Kahn for Golden Globes and the Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay and Best Sound.

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Come here big boy!

The odd thing about Young Frankenstein is that although it is a parody of the old Universal monsters films, the movie is also a homage to them. The movie was shot in black-and-white, and despite pressure from the studio, Brooks argued that it had to be in the style of the old films to work…he was right. Wilder used elements from Frankenstein, The Bride of Frankenstein, The Ghost of Frankenstein, and Son of Frankenstein in his script.

Mel Brooks is hit-or-miss for most people, and this one is a hit for me. The word play, the style of the film, and the humor all work for me in Young Frankenstein. I love the old horror films and even growing-up, the movie was almost an extension of the classic films which by the end of their run had become almost parodies themselves.

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Ok, next verse, you take the solo!

The actors are really what make this film. Wilder’s obsessed Franken-steen is perfectly crazed, and he works great with the heavy accent Garr (whose role was intended for Madeline Kahn who took the smaller role).  Cloris Leachman as Frau Blücher (cue the horse whinny) is fun.  Mary Feldman is such a great looking hunchback…I would have loved to have seen him in the original movies. Another fun cameo is the uncredited Gene Hackman as the blind man whose attempt to comfort the Monster backfires. Last but not least is Peter Boyle as the Monster who also works great with Wilder…“Puttin’ on the Ritz” has never been better.

Young Frankenstein was a fun film and still is a fun film. It holds up after all these years and rightfully is often placed in funniest films of all time. It might not always be laugh out loud funny, but it will keep you smiling throughout the film.  Homer Simpson put it best in The Simpsons, “Young Frankenstein scared the hell out of me”…ok, well maybe not.

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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