This hilarious tale involves a youngish college
professor, Dr. Frederick Frankenstein (Gene Wilder) a surgeon
who teaches at a medical college, that is truly ashamed of his
grandfather's work, even to the point of pronouncing his last
name differently. When asked about his grandfather's work, his
comical response is, "Yes, we ALL KNOW what he did!"
After receiving the family will, he returns to the ancestral mansion
in the old country, where he discovers his long dead relative's
secret laboratory and diary, which give details of his experiments,
involving bringing life to the dead, which inspires him to continue
in his grandfather's experiments, resulting in a very entertaining
It really helps the film that some of the sets
from the original 1930s, "Frankenstein," were available.
Part of the success of this parody is that it so accurately recreates
the genre it's poking fun at.
This very funny screenplay by Gene Wilder and
Mel Brooks, is brought alive by a fantastic cast, all comedians
in their own right, gifted in comic timing and delivery. The gifted
direction and pacing were right on the mark, one of Mel Brook's
Gene Wilder and Teri Garr, as his assistant /
lover Inga, make a great romantic team.The wild haired, manic
Wilder has excellent screen chemistry, and timing, with the sly,
sweet faced, curvy Garr.
Boyle gives an inspired performance as the Frankenstein
monster. With his hulking form, huge forehead, and sweet smile,
Boyle makes for a sympathetic, viewer- friendly monster, who occasionally
can get rather cranky, and out of sorts. A favorite scene involves
Boyle and Wilder putting on a soft shoe number on stage to try
to show the townspeople that they have nothing to fear.
Madeline Kahn as Elizabeth, plays Gene Wilder's
girl friend from the states who is a very self-absorbed person,
comes to the castle to keep an eye on him. This is Kahn at her
best in her part.
Gene Hackman plays a lonely, blind man who prays
every day just for some company. Hackman can do comedy very well,
which shows the scope & breadth of his talent as an actor.
Another favorite secene involves Gene Hackman
and Peter Boyle. Eager for company, Hackman graciously tries to
make Boyle feel at home and tries to serve him some soup. When
the soup ends up in Boyle's lap, the results are hilarious.
Kenneth Mars humorously plays a one-armed police
chief, Inspector Kemp, who has an artificial arm that has some
gags associated with it, speaks in so thick of an accent that
even the townspeople can't understand him, and offers some fine
comedic moments to the film. The dart scene involving Wilder and
Mars is a classic one.
Many running gags pop up from time to time. A
fun, running gag involves bug-eyed Igor (Marty Feldman) and his
hump. The hump's position changes in the course of the film, despite
Feldman's claim to the contrary. Another amusing gag is that whenever
Cloris Leachman's character' name, Frau Blucher, is mentioned,
one hears the horses neigh in terror, even when they aren't in