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   YOUNG FRANKENSTEIN (1974) 

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CAST
Gene Wilder
Peter Boyle
Marty Feldman
Madeline Kahn
Cloris Leachman
Teri Garr
Kenneth Mars
Richard Haydn
Liam Dunn
Gene Hackman

DIRECTED BY
Mel Brooks

PURCHASE






Time: 108 mins.
Rating: PG
Genre: Comedy/Spoof

Academy Award nominations for Best Sound and Best Adapted Screenplay.


SYNOPSIS: Dr. Frankenstein's grandson, after years of living down the family reputation, inherits granddad's castle and repeats the experiments. History hilariously repeats itself once the world meets the Monster.

BOTTOM LINE: Though I'm not really a fan of Brooks later movies, I find this film to be one of the best comedies ever made. His early work has a demented joy that seems to have evolved into mindless silliness...and that's a real tragedy. Wilder gives his all to this portrayal of Dr. Frankenstein, a brilliant scientist with a God complex...and a frustrated sex drive. This sarcastic, witty and sometimes stupid retelling of cinema's classic monster tale actually plays the age-old story for laughs instead of horror.

I'm sure it's not what Mary Shelley had in mind when she wrote the piece, but God bless Brooks for retelling it like this. He takes the same story, the same sets and with mere nuances in line readings makes you want to split your pants with laughter. Much of the credit has to go to Peter Boyle as the Monster. This was my first introduction to him as an actor and the charm and talent he gave this role have stayed with me.

In this version, the monster gets the "love" he's seeking from the brilliant Madelaine Kahn, in a scene you will never forget, and almost becomes domesticated. However, it's the love of Dr. Frankenstein that gives him a whole new lease on life. The ending may not be the same, but this one is just as satisfying, if not much, much funnier. It's also a great example of the perfect use of B&W cinematography in today's cinema. A comedy tour-de-force not to be missed.




"Hearts and kidneys are tinkertoys! I'm talking about the central nervous system!"

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