Production Year 1974
Directed by Mel Brooks
Written by Mel Brooks and Gene Wilder
Starring Gene Wilder, Peter Boyle, Madeleine Kahn, Marty Feldman, Terri Garr and Cloris Leachman
This perfectly realized spoof of the Universal horror films of the 1930s is the work of Mel Brooks; whose career as a satirist, comedian, writer, director and producer is one of the longest and most successful in contemporary cinema. Brooks started in the 1950s as a stand up comic in the clubs and hotels of the Catskill Mountains resorts. He then became a writer on some of the cleverest and wittiest TV series of the 1960s including 'The Dick Van Dyke Show' and 'Get Smart', which he co-created with Buck Henry.
Brooks made his feature film debut in 1968 with The Producers - a jet black comedy about a pair of Broadway producers who conceive of a way to make money from a guaranteed failure in the form of an outrageous stage musical called 'Springtime for Hitler'. He followed this in 1974 with his brilliant western spoof Blazing Saddles - paving the way for later surreal parodies like Airplane and The Naked Gun. Whilst on the set of Blazing Saddles he and the film’s star Gene Wilder conceived of Young Frankenstein. The resulting comedy – a lovingly rendered parody of monster movies, shot in glorious black and white, stars some of the most gifted comic actors of the day - including the eccentric British performer Marty Feldman as the hunchback Igor and Madeleine Kahn as Frankenstein’s neurotic fiancée Elizabeth. Look out too for a disguised cameo by Gene Hackman as the blind hermit who befriends the monster.
Along with Blazing Saddles and The Producers Young Frankenstein represents the best of Brooks’ comedies although as a producer he has made some outstanding straight films including David Lynch's The Elephant Man and David Cronenberg’s The Fly.