On one particularly memorable late afternoon, after a fast $.80 draft beer at the esteemed Red Hat on Beacon Hill, I sat with my peeps in the darkened auditorium at Suffolk University, and laughed till I cried. The movie that afternoon was “Young Frankenstein”.
Released just before Christmas in 1974, this rollicking brilliant satire of Mary Shelley’s novel of creation, was directed by the comic genius Mel Brooks and starred Gene Wilder, Teri Garr, and Cloris Leachman along with a pantheon of brilliant comic character actors (all now, tragically deceased) including Madeline Kahn, Marty Feldman, and Kenneth Mars.
Here at Chez Miller, “Young Frankenstein” is mandatory viewing regardless of the day of the year it comes on television. After all, this is the movie that delivered such classic lines as :
Victor: “Igor, get the bags”
Igor: ” sointenly ( a la the 3 stooges) sir, you take the blonde and I’ll take the one in the turban….”
Igor’s genius comic take on stealing the brain from the laboratory.
Cloris Leachman stars as the uptight, violin playing housekeeper, Frau Blucher (cue the horses) and Kenneth Mars is the local soldier who rallies the townspeople to storm the castle to destroy the Monster.
But my absolute favorite character is Elizabeth Lavenza the uptight, turban clad fiancée of Victor, who arrives unexpectedly at the castle, and winds up letting her hair down with her new husband. Her arrival at the train station when she spurns Victor’s kisses and hugs with her lispy “taffeta, darling!” warning is timeless…
Watch it for the brilliant cast, watch it for the vaudeville, including the big production number of “Putting on the Ritz”. Watch it for the exquisite timing, but celebrate Halloween by watching this classic comedy. And yes, it’s in black and white, there is nothing wrong with your screen!