Monday, August 2, 2010

The 100 Best Movies: #35

35. Young Frankenstein (1974)

Probably the only time a "horror" movie makes it onto the list, this is the most hilarious parody of Mary Shelley's classic novel and, of course, it had to come from the mind of Mel Brooks. In Brooks' zany adaptation, Dr. Victor von Frankenstein has died and left his castle to his grandson, Friedrich (played by the comedic genius Gene Wilder, who also co-wrote). Friedrich Frankenstein (that's pronounced FRAHN-ken-shtein) is a neurological expert in the United States and is convinced to come to Transylvania to get his grandfather's house in order. Friedrich initially scoffs at his infamous grandfather's work but after being lured into the laboratory, figures out how to make the experiment work. The style of this film (in black and white) perfectly matches the style of the original 1930's Frankenstein films. Wilder's performance is extremely reminiscent of Colin Clive (who played Victor in the 1931 adaptation). The supporting cast is absoulutely brilliant including Teri Garr ("Roll, Roll, Roll in ze hay!"), Peter Boyle ("Puttin' on 'Da Witz!), Kenneth Mars (as the deformed Inspector) and Cloris Leachman (as Frau Blucher..."WHINNY!"). It even features a great cameo by Gene Hackman! But the best performances come from Marty Feldman, who almost steals the movie and charms as Igor (pronounced EYE-gor, who is the grandson of Victor's Igor) and the phenomenal Madeline Kahn as Elizabeth, Friedrich's snobbish and modest fianceƩ. It is among the greatest comedies of all-time and it is one of Brooks' best works.

Next Post: #34

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