Saturday, October 23, 2010

Saturday Music by Young Frankenstein

One of THE FUTURIST!'s favorite comedies, let alone comic movie parodies, is Mel Brooks' YOUNG FRANKENSTEIN released in the year 1974 (in THE FUTURIST!'s opinion was one of the last great years of motion picture production). The film was directed by Brooks, but was the initial idea of star Gene Wilder. He shared co-writing credit with Brooks. It is this teaming that makes the picture the best in the Mel Brooks comedy film genre spoof series. The film does not "make fun" of the genre it parodies ... it loves its source material. Wilder and Brooks obviously loved those Universal horror pictures of the 30s and recreate them with meticulous detail ... even using actual sets and props from the original films. Wilder's love of old film genres and that over the top style of 30s thespian articulation is imitated to the nth degree in his portrayal of Dr. Frankenstein. He later directed and wrote other genre comedy homages of haunted house horror comedies, silent film stars, Hitchcock thrillers, Sherlock Holmes stories and such. Some were not successful, but they are evidence of his participatory comic spark in YOUNG FRANKENSTEIN. THE FUTURIST! believes it was the perfect patchwork of Brooks' humor tempered by Wilder's comic ideas that brought their own comical laboratory experiment to life. IT is a beautiful picture to watch, too. The black and white cinematography is luscious. THE FUTURIST!can watch it many many times and still laugh at moments he is anticipating. Few comedies can achieve this miraculous reaction. Wilder's manic acting is a favorite of all comic motion picture actors that THE FUTURIST! admires.

In many, if not all, of Wilder's film genre loving salutes, he incorporates a musical number in the plot. YOUNG FRANKENSTEIN contains the wonderful moment depicted below as today's Saturday Music post. It is a brilliant smiling inducing way to comically introduce the creature of Frankenstein's creation to the scientific community. A double treat to parody two film genres into one performance.

Listen and Watch:


PUTTIN' ON THE RITZ
performed by Gene Wilder and Peter Boyle
written by Irving Berlin
from the film
YOUNG FRANKENSTEIN (1974)

3 comments:

chiaroscurocoalition said...

The camera panning over to reveal Igor (Eye-gore?) playing the piano kills me everytime.

Dara said...

Very good. Haven't seen this in years, but I was never a big fan. I did watch it a good few times, though. Maybe it's time again?

THE FUTURIST! said...

Definitely one of THE FUTURIST!'s favorite comedies ... along with PEE WEE'S BIG ADVENTURE. Like some early Woody Allen films, both of those works have jokes and sight gags that never tire the urge to laugh again and again.