10 days before Christmas in 1974 one of the greatest comedic directors in history released the movie “Young Frankenstein”. The movie was written by Gene Wilder and Mel Brooks as part of a deal Wilder had struck with Brooks when he took on the role of The Waco Kid in the movie “Blazing Saddles”.
“Young Frankenstein” is about Dr. Frederick Frankenstein, played by Gene Wilder, who is trying to distance himself from the reputation of his grandfather. His grandfather being the evil genius that experimented in re-animation of corpses created the monster that was made famous in Mary Shelley’s book.
Frederick inherits the Transylvanian estate when his great grandfather, the Baron von Frankenstein, dies. He goes to Europe to check out the property, when he arrives at the train station in Transylvania he meets the servant Igor, played by Marty Feldman. Igor takes Frederick to a horse drawn wagon that will take them to the castle. In the wagon is Inga, played by Teri Garr, Frederick’s new lab assisstant.
During the first night at the castle Frederick, Inga and Igor find the lab where Frederick’s grandfather built the monster. After reading the private journals of his grandfather Frederick begins to resume his grandfather’s work to re-animate the dead.
Frederick and Igor go grave robbing in the local cemetary. They abduct a large corpse and begin experimenting on it until they get it to come alive. The Monster, played by Peter Boyle, runs away from the castle.
While away the creature meets a young girl and a blind hermit, played by Gene Hackman. The Monster runs away from the blind man after a series of unforunate, but hilarious, moments. Frederick finally recaptures the Monster and teaches him things.
Once the training has finished Frederick sets up a demonstration where he introduces the Monster and the two of them perform “Puttin’ on the Ritz” for the spectators. All goes well until one of the bulbs explode, freaking out the Monster causing the spectators to throw vegetables at him.
The Monster is arrested, taken to jail and tormented by his captor. When he escapes he kidnaps Frederick’s fiancee Elizabeth, played by Madeline Kahn, whom he beds. Frederick gets the Monster back to the castle and sets out to help the Monster by transferring some of his intellect to it.
When the mob break into the castle the transfer has been completed, the Monster gets up off the table he is laying on and delivers a short monologue to placate the mob. The film ends with Elizabeth married to the Monster and Inga married to Frederick.
This movie is a great movie worthy of watching. It manages to stay true to the original story but also with a unique twist of being a comedy. It also pays tribute to the Boris Karloff version of the movie by being bland and white, using 30’s style credits and using props that were used in the original movie.