10 Things You Didn’t Know about “Young Frankenstein”

Young Frankenstein is the story of the young descendant of the famed mad scientist Victor Frankenstein.  Frederick wants nothing to do with his grandfather’s legacy and abhors it completely. But when he is informed that he’s inherited the estate of his great-grandfather Beufort von Frankenstein he can’t help but be curious as he browses the estate and eventually finds his grandfathers experiments. Through some form of madness he decides to take up the family legacy and creates his own monster with the help of Igor and Inga, two assistants that are bound to the Frankenstein family and are sworn to serve him. It’s one of Mel Brooks’ most endearing comedies and one that has been around for long enough to be a classic.

It’s worth watching just to see the Puttin’ On the Ritz scene.

10. Mel Brooks rented the same equipment that was used for the other Frankenstein films.

He managed to find all the old equipment from the 1930’s sets and was even good enough to give credit to the man that made them.

9. Igor’s shifting hump was an ad-libbed gag.

It took a while for the cast and crew to notice that he kept moving the hump, but once they did Brooks decided to use it as a gag in the movie.

8. Gene Wilder only agreed to be in the movie if Mel Brooks just directed and didn’t act in it.

He felt that Brooks would ruin the illusion of the movie if he put himself into the middle of it like he always did.

7. Gene Hackman went uncredited for his part in the movie.

He played the blind man that interacts with the monster. This was Hackman’s attempt to break into comedy and he got the part thanks to Wilder.

6. The scene that required the most takes had to do with Igor and Elizabeth.

It involved Igor taking a bite out of Elizabeth’s fur wrap. The problem was that every time he did some of it would get stuck in his teeth and people would start laughing.

5. The Puttin’ On the Ritz scene was made great by Peter Boyle.

They didn’t know how to finish it off and so Peter Boyle came up with the idea of offering up a strangled rendition of the title of the song.

4. The two female leads had to be switched around.

Terri Garr and Madeline Kahn were originally going to play opposite roles, meaning that Kahn would play Inga and Garr would play Elizabeth. When Brooks switched Kahn over to the role of Elizabeth however he asked Garr if she could play Inga and she agreed.

3. Wilder had trouble keeping a straight face onscreen.

It was a continuous struggle for him to keep a straight face and it forced the crew to do a lot of extra takes.

2. Mel Brooks would give Gene Wilder directing tips.

He knew that Wilder wanted to direct one day and so he would occasionally throw out a tip or two in order to keep Wilder interested.

1. All of the animal sounds off screen were made by Mel Brooks.

Such sounds as the wolves howling off screen and the yowling cats were all Brooks.

This is easily one Brooks’ best.

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