In honor of the late Gene Wilder, Fathom Events hosted a one-night one-time-only event in theaters, and Mel Brooks did a live tribute to his friend. This tribute and screening of the 1974 hit Young Frankenstein, happened Wednesday, October 5th at 8:00pm ET/7:00pm CT/5:00pm PT, at over 500 theaters nationwide.
The audience laughed and applauded as if Brooks was live in front of them. Onscreen, he toured the 20th Century Fox lot where the magic happened, “And a couple of people are still alive! I was about 13.” He told the story of how during Blazing Saddles, Gene Wilder was writing down his ideas for Young Frankenstein. He said Brooks could make it with him as long as he “wasn’t in it.” He spoke about Marty Feldman and his eyes (Graves’ disease), and the uncredited Gene Hackmen role.
I have to say… Mel Brooks is still hysterical at 90 years old. He yelled at the audience who gave him a standing ovation, “Sit down! This is a Fathom Event. They only give you 7 minutes to talk and then they start the picture.”
This picture is… Young Frankenstein.
Frederick Frankenstein (pronounced Fron-ken-steen) wants nothing to do with his family legacy. But unfortunately, his family legacy wants him, and poor Freddy (Gene Wilder) has inherited his grandfatherâ€™s castle. Soon Igor (Marty Feldman) and Inga (Teri Garr) are leading Frederick through the secret passageways of the castle stumbling onto grandfatherâ€™s work. Gene Wilder is frenetic and crazed and the script that he and Brooks co-wrote; which was nominated for Best Screenplay Oscar, is filled with hilarious one liners (of course) and so many sexual innuendos.
The highlights of this classic:
– Stealing an abnormal brain because Igor (pronounced EYE-gor) thought he was stealing a girlâ€™s brain â€œAbby Normal.â€
– Cloris Leachman stealing the whole film as Frau Blucher (insert Horse neighing).
– The songs, performed with glee by Feldman (I Ainâ€™t Got Nobody), Madeline Kahn (Ah, Sweet Mystery of Life), and of course the irreverent final act culminating with “Puttinâ€™ on the Ritz” by Wilder and The Monster (Peter Boyle).
– As with its Brooks/Wilder 1974 companion piece, Blazing Saddles, Brooks women talking dirty in German… â€œHe vould have an enormous schwanzstucker,â€ says Inga (Teri Garr).
There are too many lines and moments to go through. It is a movie that necessitates multiple viewings, because youâ€™ll be laughing so hard you are guaranteed to miss something special. The film is ranked 13th on AFIâ€™s 100 Years 100 Laughs. With the recent passing of Gene Wilder, Young Frankenstein will add a layer a sadness to it, but will ensure the Wilderâ€™s baby, the film he developed, co-wrote, and starred in will live forever.
Young Frankenstein Movie CLIP – Igor (2014) – Gene Wilder, Mel Brooks
Gene Wilder – Young Frankenstein (1974) – Puttin’ on the Ritz