(Clockwise from left) Marty Feldman, Gene Wilder, Teri Garr and Peter Boyle in Young Frankenstein, 1974 | Getty Images.
Mel Brooks hilarious homage to 1930s Hollywood.
An affectionate, monochrome homage / parody of the old Universal Studios Frankenstein – especially Son of Frankenstein (1939).
It has Peter Boyle channelling Boris Karloff; it reassembles the original laboratory equipment from the 1931 version, discovered in a storeroom; it features Marty Feldman as hunchbacked assistant Igor and Madeline Kahn as the scientist’s fiancée / the Bride; and has Dr Frederick Frankenstein (Gene Wilder – ‘That’s Fronkensteen’) memorably performing, with his creature, the Fred Astaire number Puttin’ on the Ritz in white tie and tails.
Mel Brooks, who co-wrote the often hilarious script with Gene Wilder and who also directed, said of the film – tongue firmly in cheek: ‘It’s about womb-envy, and the mob’s ignorance and fear of genius. So it’s a very Promethean work…’
The look of the film successfully evokes 1930s Hollywood. Young Frankenstein was transformed by Brooks into a stage musical in 2007, with a revised version in 2017.
Uniquely, the film has a happy ending – the Monster settling down with Frankenstein’s ex.