Movie Review: Young Frankenstein

Young Frankenstein Trailer

Young Frankenstein Summary

Dr. Frederick Frankenstein is a lecturing physician at an American medical school and engaged to Elizabeth, a socialite. He becomes exasperated when anyone brings up the subject of his grandfather Victor Frankenstein, the infamous mad scientist with whom he does not want to be associated, and insists that his surname is pronounced “Fronkensteen”. When a solicitor informs him that he has inherited his family’s estate in Transylvania after the death of his great-grandfather, the Baron Beaufort von Frankenstein, Frederick travels to Europe to inspect the property. At the Transylvania train station, he is met by a hunchbacked, bug-eyed servant named Igor, whose own grandfather worked for Victor; and a beautiful, young, female assistant named Inga. Hearing that the professor pronounces his name “Fronkensteen”, Igor insists that his name is pronounced “Eyegor”, rather than the traditional “Eegor”.

Arriving at the estate, Frederick meets Frau Blücher, the intimidating housekeeper. After discovering the secret entrance to Victor’s laboratory and reading his private journals, Frederick decides to resume his grandfather’s experiments in re-animating the dead. He and Igor steal the corpse of a recently executed criminal, and Frederick sets to work experimenting on the large corpse. He sends Igor to steal the brain of a deceased “scientist and saint”, Hans Delbrück. Startled by his own reflection, Igor drops and ruins Delbrück’s brain. Taking a second brain labeled “Abnormal”, Igor returns with it, and Frederick transplants it into the corpse, thinking he has transplanted Delbrück’s brain.

Frederick brings the creature to life by electrical charges during a lightning storm. The creature takes its first steps, but, frightened by Igor lighting a match, he attacks Frederick and nearly strangles him before he is sedated. Meanwhile, unaware of the creature’s existence, the townspeople gather to discuss their unease at Frederick continuing his grandfather’s work. Inspector Kemp, a one-eyed police official with a prosthetic arm, whose German accent is so thick that even his own countrymen cannot understand him, proposes to visit the doctor, whereupon he demands assurance that Frankenstein will not create another monster. Returning to the lab, Frederick discovers Blücher setting the creature free. She reveals the monster’s love of violin music and her own romantic relationship with Frederick’s grandfather. The creature is enraged by sparks from a thrown switch and escapes the castle.

While roaming the countryside, the monster has encounters with a young girl and a blind hermit, references to 1931’s Frankenstein and 1935’s Bride of Frankenstein, respectively. Frederick recaptures the monster and locks himself in a room with him. He calms the monster’s homicidal tendencies with flattery and a promise to guide him to success, embracing his heritage as a Frankenstein. At a theater full of illustrious guests, Frederick shows “The Creature” following simple commands. The demonstration continues with Frederick and the monster, both in top hats and tuxedos, performing the musical number “Puttin’ On the Ritz”. A stage light suddenly explodes and frightens the monster, who furiously charges into the audience, where he is captured and chained by police. Back in the laboratory, Inga attempts to comfort Frederick, and they sleep together on the suspended reanimation table.

The monster escapes when Frederick’s fiancée Elizabeth arrives unexpectedly for a visit, taking her captive as he flees. Elizabeth falls in love with the creature due to his “enormous schwanzstucker”. While the townspeople hunt for the monster, Frederick plays the violin to lure his creation back to the castle and recaptures him. Just as the Kemp-led mob storms the laboratory, Frankenstein transfers some of his stabilizing intellect to the creature, who reasons with and placates the mob. Elizabeth, with her hair styled after that of the female creature from Bride of Frankenstein—marries the now erudite and sophisticated monster; while Inga, in bed with Frederick, asks what her new husband got in return during the transfer procedure. Frederick growls wordlessly and embraces Inga who, as Elizabeth did when abducted by the monster, sings the refrain “Ah, Sweet Mystery of Life”

Young Frankenstein Review

Rating: 4 out of 5.

A fun version of the story of Young Frankenstein. It is okay for kids.

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