Young Frankenstein

1974

Young Frankenstein (1974)

TOMATOMETER

Critic Consensus: Made with obvious affection for the original, Young Frankenstein is a riotously silly spoof featuring a fantastic performance by Gene Wilder.

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Movie Info

In this spoof of Mary Shelley's gothic tale, the grandson of Victor Frankenstein, a neurosurgeon, has spent his life living down the legend of his grandfather, even changing the pronunciation of his name. When he discovers his grandfather's diary, he begins to feel differently, and returns to the family castle to satisfy his curiosity by replicating his ancestor's experiments. In the process, he creates one very unique monster.

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Cast

Gene Wilder
as Dr. Frederick Frankenstein
Peter Boyle
as Monster
Madeline Kahn
as Elizabeth
Cloris Leachman
as Frau Blucher
Kenneth Mars
as Insp. Kemp
Gene Hackman
as Blind Hermit
Richard Haydn
as Herr Falkstein
Liam Dunn
as Mr. Hilltop
Oscar Beregi
as Sadistic Jailer
Danny Goldman
as Medical Student
Richard Roth
as Insp. Kemp's Aide
Leon Askin
as Herr Waldman
Oscar Beregi Jr.
as Sadistic Jailer
Monte Landis
as Gravedigger
Lou Cutell
as Frightened Villager
Arthur Malet
as Village Elder
Richard A. Roth
as Kemp's Aide
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Critic Reviews for Young Frankenstein

All Critics (57) | Top Critics (7)

It is good-natured, lowbrow, backlot, hit-or-miss humor, but with no cumulative effect beyond its succession of hard-worked jokes.

Oct 3, 2015 | Full Review…

Wilder's hysteria seems perfectly natural. You never question what's driving him to it; his fits are lucid and total. They take him into a different dimension -- he delivers what Harpo promised.

Jan 15, 2013 | Full Review…

More about the myth of Karloff than the monster, this Mel Brooks pastiche is probably his best early film.

Jun 4, 2007 | Full Review…

For a really delightful parody, James Whale's own Bride of Frankenstein is far better value.

Jun 24, 2006 | Full Review…
Time Out
Top Critic

It shows artistic growth and a more sure-handed control of the material by a director who once seemed willing to do literally anything for a laugh. It's more confident and less breathless.

Oct 23, 2004 | Rating: 4/4 | Full Review…

Some of the gags don't work, but fewer than in any previous Brooks film that I've seen, and when the jokes are meant to be bad, they are riotously poor. What more can one ask of Mel Brooks?

May 20, 2003 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Young Frankenstein

The art of the spoof has been lost in recent years, or at least a fundamental understanding of what makes the greatest spoofs work at the most basic level. What makes them great can be summed up in one word: Love. It's strange to think about, but the best film spoofs are a built on an inherent love and understanding of what's being skewered. So it's no surprise in some ways that Young Frankenstein is Mel Brooks' greatest film. The amount of referential material in this film goes far beyond the knowledge of even some seasoned film geeks (there is a Frankenstein film that features a police inspector that has a wooden arm, and yes, he plays darts with Dr. Frankenstein). Even the equipment in this film's lab is taken from the Boris Karloff classic. Combine this reverence with one of Gene Wilder's greatest performances, jokes that absolutely hit their mark, and gorgeous atmosphere from black and white cinematography, and you have a comedy classic. One of the greatest of all time and highly recommended.

Jacob Ethington
Jacob Ethington

Super Reviewer

Clever satire of old Hollywood horror films. Great over-the-top performances by Wilder and Kahn.

Christian C
Christian C

Super Reviewer

Mel Brooks' Young Frankenstein is a fine horror comedy that remains a classic of the genre. This is one film that is very funny, with good acting and directing. The film is one of the most memorable films in the comedy horror genre. Mel Brooks delivers a great film that is very funny. The film obviously parodies Frankenstein, and the film does a great job at doing that. I very much enjoyed the film, and thought it was among Mel Brooks' best films. Young Frankenstein for me anyway plays out like a tribute to Frankenstein, by inducing the classic tale of horror with a good dose of comedy. The film works well, and is superbly well acted, and directed. The film boasts a memorable twist on the classic tale, and is among the best comedy horror flicks, albeit not a straight forward horror film. This film though will be appreciated by fans of horror as much as comedy film fans. This film is a near flawless comedy horror flick with great, memorable performances. Mel Brooks would later make another horror comedy with Dracula, but it wouldn't be as great a film as this. Young Frankenstein woks well as a parody and as a tribute to a classic horror monster. Overall a solidly crafted film with a great cast, and a good story. Young Frankenstein is in a class by itself.

Alex roy
Alex roy

Super Reviewer

½

Dr. Frederick Frankenstein: Please! Remain in your seats, I beg you! We are not children here, we are scientists! I assure you there is nothing to fear!  "The scariest comedy of all-time!" Young Frankenstein is my second favorite Mel Brooks movie behind only Blazing Saddles. The film is a great spoof of Frankenstein and is ridiculously hilarious in ways that only a Mel Brooks movie could be. This is immature and stupid humor at its best. Nobody does genre spoofs better than Brooks. He did the westerns with Blazing Saddles, old gothic horror with Young Frankenstein and eventually the sci-fi/Star Wars with Spaceballs. The guy isn't what you'd typically think of as brilliant, but that is exactly what he is. Gene Wilder plays the grandson of the original Frankenstein creator. He is against what his grandfather did and has now changed the pronunciation of his name. He ventures to his grandfathers old estate where he begins to hear strange, ominous music that leads him to the laboratory. There he finds a book entitled, "This is How I Did It," and begins to create his own creature with the help of a beautiful mistress and a weird, misshapen Igor. Another noteworthy performance comes from Peter Boyle as the Creature. He manages to make the Creature extremely funny. The film is shot in black and white and definitely looks like an old horror film. The great gothic look of the movie clashes with the utterly goofy humor of Brooks and Wilder. Can you beat Wilder yelling "It's Alive"? The movie is extremely entertaining in a way that makes you ask yourself why you like it so much.  This is classic Brooks, classic Wilder and classic comedy at its best. Modern spoofs need to take some notes from old Brooks films. It isn't about spoofing as many things in one movie as you can. It is about choosing one subject and completely making it your own in a new signature way. That is what Brooks did here and with Blazing Saddles and that is why he is the master of the spoof.

Melvin White
Melvin White

Super Reviewer

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