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No. 35: Young Frankenstein

The essence of Mel Brooks

Jody Rosen
December 07, 2011
(20th Century Fox)
(20th Century Fox)

1974, dir. Mel Brooks. Mel Brooks’ send-up of classic horror movies, with Gene Wilder as Dr. Frederick Frankenstein (pronounced “Fronk-en-steen,” please) heading a cast that includes Madeleine Kahn, Cloris Leachman, and bug-eyed wonder Marty Feldman as Igor (that’s “I-Gore”). Shot in black-and-white that perfectly evokes 1930s B-movies, Young Frankenstein is the essence of Mel Brooks—a daffy cinematic lampoon that ladles on the Borscht Belt smut. Best gag? The Schwanzstücker, of course.

Jody Rosen is a contributing writer for the New York Times Magazine.