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Young Frankenstein (PG)
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streaming sites: Starz

This came out in 1974- the year before I was born- but I first saw it probably in the late 90s, maybe the early 00s. I think the second time I saw the whole thing was in 2012, which is when I'm writing a review. So, um, Gene Wilder plays Dr. Frederick Frankenstein (which he pronounces "Frahnkensteen"), who wishes to distance himself from the memory of his infamous grandfather, Dr. Victor Frankenstein. However, he inherits a castle, so he goes to Transylvania to claim it, or whatever. There he meets a hunchbacked servant named Igor (who pronounces his name "eye-gore," though I'm not sure if this was just Igor's sense of humor, based on the way Frederick pronounced his own name differently than his grandfather). Apparently, Igor is the grandson of Victor's hunchbacked servant. Frederick also meets his new lab assistant, Inga (Teri Garr). And there's the ominous caretaker of the castle, Frau Blücher (Cloris Leachman). It doesn't take long for Frederick to be overcome by his destiny to follow in his grandfather's footsteps, when he discovers Victor's secret laboratory, and reads his notes on his experiments. So, Frederick, Igor, and Inga, work together to bring a creature (played by Peter Boyle) to life. Of course, the villagers don't trust anyone named Frankenstein, and predictably enough, problems arise. And eventually, Frederick's fiancée, Elizabeth (Madeline Kahn), shows up, which complicates things even further. And that's basically all I want to say about the plot (because I want to avoid spoiling any of the gags).

Of course, being that this is a Mel Brooks movie, it's a given that much of the humor is redonkulous. But the movie is considered a comedy classic, and I definitely did think some bits were quite clever. And all the actors did a great job. I'm not a huge fan of the movie, but it's pretty decent (so, I guess I'm a moderate fan). Oh, and incidentally, there was a 1998 episode of Everybody Loves Raymond in which Frank (played by Boyle) dressed as Frankenstein's monster for Halloween. I don't remember if I'd seen this movie before the first time that aired, or if it wasn't until seeing a rerun years later that I realized how funny that was, given his role in this. But I just thought I'd mention it. And I'm sure there are countless other pop culture references to this movie in other stuff, whether I'm aware of them or not....


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