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Mel Brooks looks back at "Young Frankenstein"

Wednesday, September 10, 2014 - 01:39

Sept. 10 - Mel Brooks and his iconic odd-ball comedy ''Young Frankenstein'' honored with special 40th anniversary screening. John Russell reports.

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Mel Brooks credited a talented cast, strong writing and a great story as the reasons behind the success of "Young Frankenstein," the classic odd-ball comedy which was honored Tuesday night (September 09). The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences presented the 88-year-old filmmaker with a special 40th anniversary screening of the 1974 film which paid homage to the Golden Age of monster movies. Brooks told Reuters that he knew early on that the movie, shot in black-and-white against the protest of studio executives and almost never made because of it, would be a hit. SOUNDBITE Mel Brooks saying (English): "The crew was screwing us up, they were laughing with every scene. We couldn't get anything done. So, I went out and bought a thousand handkerchiefs. I gave everyone one, 'I said that if you feel like laughing shove this in your mouth.' So they would stick this in their mouth and I would do a scene and I would turn around and I would see a sea of white handkerchiefs. I said, 'We have a hit." Gene Wilder, who helped Brooks in writing the screenplay, starred as Dr. Frederick Frankenstein, a physician and lecturer at an American medical school who insists his last name is pronounced Fronkensteen. He inherits his family's estate in Transylvania, then decides to resume his grandfather's experiments in re-animating the dead. The cast also included Marty Feldman as the hunchbacked, bulging-eyed servant Igor; Peter Boyle as the Monster; Teri Garr as personal assistant Inga and Cloris Leachman as housekeeper Frau Blucher.

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Mel Brooks looks back at "Young Frankenstein"

Wednesday, September 10, 2014 - 01:39