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Dr Frankensteinís grandson Frederick (Gene Wilder) inherits the family castle after many years of trying to live down his familyís reputation. And he start repeating the very same experiments that his grandfather made infamous, with the help of the household staff, the hunchback Igor (Marty Feldman) and the lab assisstant Inga (Teri Garr). But things get out of hand Ö

"Young Frankenstein cost less than 3 million dollars to make and reaped $190 million in box-office and ancillaries. For many Mel Brooks fans it's his best film. I loved all of Brooks' films from The Producers in 1967 to High Anxiety in 1978 - his decline since then is too sad to detail - but never found this one more than fitfully amusing. Perhaps it's because Brooks substituted the no-jokes barred spoof approach which served him so well in his hilarious western satire Blazing Saddles (made earlier in 1974) for a tone of affectionate parody that delivers smiles but very few big laughs. It does have a fine cast of funsters from the Brooks stock company who approach their work with zeal even if the material is uneven at best.

Gene Wilder, who wrote the screenplay with Brooks, is true to his surname as the med school lecturer who inherits the Transylvanian castle of his notorious grandfather; Madeline Kahn is wonderful in her too-brief role as his fiance and Kenneth Mars is a riot as an ultra-Teutonic policeman with a wooden arm. There's a show-stopping 'Putting On The Ritz' dance number featuring Wilder and monster (Peter Boyle) but most of the funny arrives as relief from the extended mugging of what resembles a second rate vaudeville show. The worst offenders here are Teri Garr who plays Wilder's assistant with a German accent that wouldn't even pass muster in Hogan's Heroes and the extremely unfunny British comic Marty Feldman who plays hunchback sidekick Igor. Unless you like Feldman, in which case it's a laugh riot when he rolls his banjo eyes and cracks gags that were old hat when James Whale made the original Frankenstein in 1931".

Whatever shortcomings it has in other departments Young Frankenstein is a beautifully crafted film. Gerald Hirschfeld's monochrome photography of sets and decorations, lovingly arranged in the style of Universal horrors of the 30's, looks magnificent in the 1.85:1 transfer on this disc.

For fans there's also a Mel Brooks commentary track, a handful of deleted scenes, interviews with Feldman, Wilder and Cloris Leachman done by a fast-talking Mexican TV host, TV spots and 8 minutes of very forgettable bloopers. This disc is great value if you're a subscriber to the 'Young Frankenstein is really a very funny film' theory. Even if you are it might be wise to rent first just to make sure."
Richard Kuipers

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CAST: Gene Wilder, Peter Boyle, Marty Feldman, Cloris Leachman
DIRECTOR: Mel Brooks

RUNNING TIME: 101 minutes


DISTRIBUTOR: Fox Home Entertainment

Original feature
Commentary by Mel Brooks
TV Spots
Deleted Scenes
Outtakes & Bloopers
35 minute documentary
Subtitles: Czech, Danish, English, Finnish, Hebrew, Hungarian, Icelandic, Nowegian, Polish, Portuguese, Swedish

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