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Young Frankenstein

September 14, 2010

583. Young Frankenstein
Directed by Mel Brooks
USA, 1974

IMDB | allmovie

Reviewed by Rachel
Umpteenth viewing


Dr. Frederick Frankenstein — “that’s Fronkonsteen” — inherits the estate of his infamous grandfather. After years of denying and ignoring his family history, he is compelled to repeat his grandfather’s experiments.

Essential Scene:

Dr. Frankenstein (Gene Wilder) and his assistants Igor (Marty Feldman) and Inga (Teri Garr) are in a laboratory. The Creature is ready to be brought to life. Dr. Frankenstein gives the command and the platform, containing him and the Creature, starts to raise onto the roof.

Dr. Frankenstein: From that fateful day when stinking bits of slime first crawled from the sea and shouted to the cold stars, “I am man.”, our greatest dread has always been the knowledge of our own mortality. But tonight, we shall hurl the gauntlet of science into the frightful face of death itself. Tonight, we shall ascend into the heavens. We shall mock the earthquake. We shall command the thunders, and penetrate into the very womb of impervious nature herself.

The orders to flip the switches are given, and Igor complies. Instruments explode, lights flash on and off.

Dr. Frankenstein: Life! Life, do you hear me?! Give my creation liiiiiiiife!

The Doctor frantically tries to find a pulse on the Creature while he gives the assistants orders to bring the platform down. When the platform is lowered he hits the creature on the chest in desperation, then slumps over the lifeless body.

Dr. Frankenstein: Nothing.

Inga: Oh, Doctor, I’m sorry.

Dr. Frankenstein: No. No. Be of good cheer. If science teaches us anything, it teaches us to accept our failures, as well as our successes, with quiet dignity and grace.

[He lovingly strokes the creatures head, takes a deep breath and starts to leave. He runs back and puts his hands around the creatures throat]

Dr. Frankenstein: Son of a bitch! Bastard! I’ll get you for this! What did you do to me? What did you do to me?

Inga: Doctor! Doctor! Stop it! You’ll kill him!

Dr. Frankenstein: I don’t want to live. I do not want to live. (sobs)

Igor: (To the camera) Quiet dignity and grace (!)

Dr. Frankenstein: Oh… mama…


Young Frankenstein is my favourite Mel Brooks film. The 1930s horror feel is so authentic that, as a child, I thought it was from the ’30s. Needless to say, I felt rather sheepish when I realised my mistake…

I also think the parody is more subtle than in some other Brooks films. That’s not to say the others aren’t enjoyable, but there are enough genuinely touching references to Frankenstein and Bride of Frankenstein (including some actual props) that it becomes a little bit more than a straight forward comedy.

Saying that, there are so many brilliant comic set pieces that I really did have trouble picking one scene. The cast is one of the best ensemble casts I’ve ever seen, and you can tell they had an absolute blast while filming this. Dare I say, you’ll have a blast watching it!

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