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'It's Alive!' 'Young Frankenstein' returns to the big screen

Updated on September 16, 2016

Classic comedy with great cast

Starring the late Gene Wilder, "Young Frankenstein" is generally ranked as one of the greatest film comedies of all time.
Starring the late Gene Wilder, "Young Frankenstein" is generally ranked as one of the greatest film comedies of all time. | Source

Monstrous fun from a top director

A classic horror film became a classic comedy film, thanks to Mel Brooks.
“Young Frankenstein” is generally recognized as one of Hollywood’s most potent comedic spoofs.

It puts an outlandish, irreverent spin on the iconic 1931 monster film, “Frankenstein” -- a revered tale of a reviled, yet misunderstood, creature.

Released in 1974, “Young Frankenstein” returns to the big screen for a one-day-only showing on Wednesday, Oct. 5, at 8 p.m. ET, 7 p.m. CT, 6 p.m. MT and 5 p.m. PT.
Visit for theater locations.
Brooks, who directed “Young Frankenstein,” is scheduled to introduce his classic black-and-white film live from a 20th Century Fox lot, near the “Young Frankenstein” mural on Stage 5, which was unveiled for the film’s 40th anniversary. The acclaimed director is likewise planning to give moviegoers a tour of the studio lot, and show where filming took place for the original shoot.

One of the most acclaimed cinematic parodies of the last 50 years, “Young Frankenstein” stars the late Gene Wilder as Frederick Frankenstein.
Aside from introducing the film, Brooks also is set to pay tribute to Wilder, the co-writer of the movie who died Aug. 29 at age 83. The screenplay by Brooks and Wilder earned an Academy Award nomination.

Wilder gained a reputation as one of cinema’s more likable comedic presences of the last five decades, based on appearances in hit flicks such as Brooks’ “Blazing Saddles” (1974) and 1980’s “Stir Crazy” -- one of Richard Pryor’s most memorable big-screen works.

“Young Frankenstein” also features a cavalcade of other top-notch Hollywood talent and engaging celebrities.
Peter Boyle is the good-hearted monster, Madeline Kahn is Elizabeth and Marty Feldman is the crafty humpback Igor.
Additionally television star Cloris Leachman takes on the stern role of Frau Blucher, while Academy Award winner Gene Hackman makes the most of his part as the blind hermit who befriends the monster.

The special one-night return of “Young Frankenstein” to more than 400 select United States theaters is a presentation of 20th Century Fox and Colorado-based Fathom Events, a domestic distributor of event cinema.

Brooks, 90, is providing a verbal lead-in to his PG-rated movie, which is being funneled to cinemas through Fathom’s digital broadcast network.
“It is an incredible honor to be able to bring fans all over the country a live, personal introduction by Mel to one of his most famous and unforgettable films,” Fathom Events Vice President of Studio Relations Tom Lucas said in a press release.

Nick Gaza -- a professional club comic from Schererville, Ind. -- remembers watching “Young Frankenstein” as a youth with his mother.
“The humor is so good and so well rounded that you can share it with your parents; it was certainly multigenerational,” said the 51-year-old Gaza, who has headlined at the Tropicana Casino in Las Vegas.
Gaza said Brooks has the knack of meshing broad, slapstick humor with a more serious tone that can make scenes from his films “incredibly touching and real.”

Gaza said “Young Frankenstein” has that characteristic.
“It hits on every piston,” Gaza said. “I think it’s lasted because it takes the absurd and gives it human emotion and feeling.”
One of the movie’s most famous scenes finds the sympathetic monster making an achingly earnest attempt to be a song-and-dance man.

Aside from the pathos-meets-humor aspect, there is a simpler reason to explain why “Young Frankenstein” reached No. 13 on the American Film Institute’s list of the 100 Funniest American Movies of All Time.
“It’s just incredibly funny,” Gaza said.

The plot centers on Frederick Frankenstein’s inheritance of his grandfather’s castle.
Young Frankenstein believes the work of his mad-scientist grandfather is useless, but changes his mind upon discovering a book in which his grandfather described his reanimation experiment, according to Fathom Events.

Recapturing the arty, atmospheric feel of vintage horror movies from the 1930s, “Young Frankenstein” earned a Best Sound Oscar nomination.

Mad science; outrageous science

Gene Wilder fiddles with the creation of life, leading to hilarious consequences in "Young Frankenstein" (1974).
Gene Wilder fiddles with the creation of life, leading to hilarious consequences in "Young Frankenstein" (1974). | Source

Back in time for Halloween season


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    • Robert Kostanczuk profile imageAUTHOR

      Robert Kostanczuk 

      2 years ago from Crown Point, Ind.

      Thanks for your feedback and comments Mills P!

    • profile image

      Pat Mills 

      2 years ago from East Chicago, Indiana

      I didn't catch up to Young Frankenstein until I was in college. That was in the days before home video made re-releasing movies to the theaters a rarity.

      On a side note, I used to be the paperboy for Nick Gaza and his mother, Marilyn. Good to see a mention from him ,and a good insight as well.


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