YOUNG FRANKENSTEIN is ranked by AFI as one of the funniest in the history of cinema. Directed by AFI Life Achievement recipient Mel Brooks, this iconic comedy features an unforgettable sequence in which Gene Wilder and Peter Boyle perform the duo “Puttin’ on the Ritz,” which AFI ranked No. 89 on the list. of the greatest movie songs of all time.
Watch Emma Thompson announce YOUNG FRANKENSTEIN:
Movie Trivia for YOUNG FRANKENSTEIN
DID YOU KNOW? In their desire to make YOUNG FRANKENSTEIN look like films of the 1920s and 1930s, the filmmakers used many cinematic techniques, lighting styles and transition devices – such as iris fades – that were popular at that time.
DID YOU KNOW? Kenneth Strickfaden, the electrical special effects expert on FRANKENSTEIN, served as technical consultant on YOUNG FRANKENSTEIN – reassembling the lab equipment he used in the original film from parts he had stored in his garage, in addition to creating new electrical devices for the film. .
DID YOU KNOW? Sets from old movies were used during the filming of YOUNG FRANKENSTEIN, including the train station from the 1942 film RANDOM HARVEST. The sequence depicting the villagers storming the castle was shot on a set used in the 1962 production of THE WONDERFUL WORLD OF THE BROTHERS GRIMM.
DID YOU KNOW? According to Gene Wilder, he and Mel Brooks have only had a fight once in their life – over the iconic number in the movie “Puttin’ on the Ritz.” Brooks thought it was frivolous but Wilder disagreed. After twenty minutes of arguing about it, Brooks stopped the conversation and agreed to put the scene in the film. Brooks said if Wilder was willing to fight so hard to keep the scene, then there had to be something, and it should be in the movie.
DID YOU KNOW? Teri Garr auditioned with 500 other women vying for the role of bride, Elizabeth. According to Garr, Brooks told him he found her funny, but decided to cast Madeline Kahn in the role. He would eventually offer her the role of Inga, the lab assistant – which became Garr’s first major role in Hollywood.
DID YOU KNOW? The changing bump on Igor’s back was improvised by actor Marty Feldman. He had moved the thing back and forth for several days as a joke before the cast members finally noticed. After being noticed, it was added to the script.
DID YOU KNOW? Mel Brooks was nominated for two Oscars® at the 1975 ceremony for various films. Brooks was nominated along with Gene Wilder for writing YOUNG FRANKENSTEIN, and he was also nominated for writing the title track to his other 1974 masterpiece, BLAZING SADDLES.
DID YOU KNOW? In 2007, “The New Mel Brooks Musical: Young Frankenstein” opened on Broadway. The musical was based on the story by Brooks and Gene Wilder and was written by Brooks and Thomas Meehan, with music and lyrics by Brooks.
DID YOU KNOW? Teri Garr based Inga’s strong German accent in YOUNG FRANKENSTEIN on Cher’s German hairstylist, Renata, whom she met on THE SONNY AND CHER COMEDY HOUR.
DID YOU KNOW? At the 1975 Golden Globe Awards, Cloris Leachman was nominated for Best Lead Actress in a Comedy/Musical, while Madeline Kahn was nominated for Best Supporting Actress for YOUNG FRANKENSTEIN.
Learn more about the AFI Catalog
The Movie Doesn’t End in the Credits: Family Discussion Questions
-What is your favorite Mel Brooks movie?
-What is your favorite line or scene from YOUNG FRANKENSTEIN?
– Is it essential to have seen one of Universal’s classic monster movies from which YOUNG FRANKENSTEIN draws his main inspiration? How does it enrich the viewing experience by knowing the original references?
– Why do you think director Mel Brooks was so keen on shooting in black and white? What effect does this have on the final film? How did making the film in black and white improve the viewing experience of the film?
-How is YOUNG FRANKENSTEIN a mixture of horror genre and satirical comedy?
-Mel Brooks has worked with the same stable of actors in many of his films. Which stars do you recognize from his other photos and what made their collaborations so legendary?
-What common gags are used in YOUNG FRANKENSTEIN? How does Mel Brooks incorporate them into his other films?
– Why does Frédéric not want to be associated with his own family?
– How does the monster go from monstrous to civilized?
-How does the pathos of the source material affect the flow of the comedy?
– How would you rate YOUNG FRANKENSTEIN
Watch Teri Garr talk about the creation of YOUNG FRANKENSTEIN in this exclusive clip from AFI Archive:
New to AFI Movie Club? You want to know more ?
AFI has created a global, virtual gathering of those who love cinema. Each day’s film is accompanied by fun facts, family-friendly talking points and material from the AFI Archives to enrich your viewing experience.
Learn more in our FAQ section.