Monday, November 23, 2009

January 11, 2010 - Young Frankenstein

When it comes to comedies, Young Frankenstein is definitely in my all-time top 5. I have always admired that it treats the material it parodies with reverence - something lost on the lowest-common-denominator comedic filmmakers today.

While my original exposure to the film was on television, the most memorable viewing came a few years back when we had the pleasure of seeing it at the Castro Theater in San Francisco, with Gene Wilder introducing it. You may not realize that the film was Gene Wilder's creation that Mel Brooks was brought in to work on it as co-writer and director. Wilder is the man responsible for the knowing touches that will be all the more appreciated by those of us familiar with the Universal classics (and not just Frankenstein and his Bride). And the use of Kenneth Strickfaden's original laboratory set pieces made it all the more a welcome distant relative to those early films.

Marty Feldman was at the top of his form as Ygor (pronounced EYE-gore), and some of his outtakes from the film (which we may just have to watch on the night) are as funny as the bits that made it in. This is another film from which I often quote liberally.

Whether you have a long history or a passing familiarity with the original Universal Frankenstein series, I guarantee you're in for a good time when you sit down with Young Frankenstein. We hope you'll join us for a few laughs on January 11th.

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