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VINE VOICEon September 9, 2014
Amazon.com didn't have specifications for the 40th Anniversary edition.... so I'll update for all of us fans of easily one of the funniest movies of all time.. Gene Wilder's masterpiece! NOTHING has changed but the cover from the previous Blu Ray editions....

I'm not rating this lower than the 5 stars it deserves.... but BE WARNED.... even though the BR disc has different art... it's the same thing , same transfer, same menus... Blazing Saddles 40th anniversary edition did have some additional features and upgraded image but not this movie sadly.
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VINE VOICEon February 19, 2001
This may just be the funniest movie of all time. Mel Brooks never before (and never again) worked with the tight parameters he did here: gene Wilder actually wrote most of the script, and that plus the use of the old Universal sets and props seem to have kept Borooks's more sophomoric instincts (which have gone overboard in some of his later films) tightly in check. Thus he--and everyone else in the film--is doing their absolutely finest work ever.
From Teri Garr "rolling in ze hay," to Kenneth Mars's inspired Police Inspector, everyone in the entire film seems to be working at their most hysterically hilarious. Special mention must be given to Gene Wilder giving one of his most classic performances of his strangled-fury schtick ever ("Put... the candle... back!!!") and to Peter Boyle, for his very poignant and funny depiction of the Monster.
But standing above all of the end in terms of sheer brilliance is Madeline Kahn, giving what must be the funniest female performace ever on film as Frankenstein's fiancee and the monster's eventual bride. Unlike everyone else in the film, she's not really parodying anyone other than herself; yet nevertheless her depiction of Elizabeth, the wealthy prude who discovers she's a volcano of passion undeneath, is so funny I'm practically crying almost every time I see this film. There's one brief little scene where she's brushing her hair in her boudoir before the Monster steals into her room and kidnaps her, and for absolutely no apparent reason(which makes the scene all the funnier) she's giving vent to a deeply lusty rendition of "The Battle Hymn of the Republic" while brushing out her hair. It is the funniest five seconds in the entire film--and in a film this hilarious that's saying a lot.
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on May 26, 2003
First, let me begin by saying that the only reason I don't give this 5 stars is that I wanted a bit more from the commentary track, as I indicate below.
The content of this wonderful movie is covered amply elsewhere, so I won't repeat what others have so well synopsized. I WOULD like to point out a couple of things about this particular DVD:
1) The commentary track is accessible from the the LANGUAGE SELECTION menu, rather than from the special features menu (as is usual for commentary tracks). I was terribly frustrated by this until I got some help from Christian at boldopinions.com (thanks Christian!).
2) Yes, the commentary track IS mostly Mel babbling, but there are some nice tidbits here (many of the cut-away shots were put in because Gene Wilder kept breaking, Mel thought "Puttin' On The Ritz" was frivolous, etc.). It's also heart-breaking to hear about how Marty Feldman's health habits led to his death at age 59. Unfortunately, since Mel's commentary leans toward the personal, we don't get to hear about the roots of the dart-throwing scene (practically a duplication of a scene in "Son of Frankenstein")-- and I would SWEAR that the trees going by the window in the Transylvanian train sequence are the same ones in the train sequence in "Son of Frankenstein." So we can't have everything.
3) The documentary is really wonderful-- it's obvious that everyone has warm feelings about the film, and the recollections are sharp and insightful. It gives the movie added dimension, so don't pass it over.
I haven't seen mention in the Amazon reviews of "Young Frankenstein" the multiple homages to "Son of Frankenstein," not the least of which is Gene Wilder's spot-on lord-of-the-manor affectations through many of the early Transylvanian sequences (in his grandfather's bedroom: "And where is my grandfather's PRIVATE library?...[book snatched from shelf] Why, these books are all very general [snap snap snap the pages]; any doctor might have them in his study [SLAP book closed]" and the entirety of the aforementioned dart-throwing scene (in which Wilder is positively CHANNELING Basil Rathbone). So make "Son of Frankenstein" ALSO required viewing prior to seeing "Young Frankenstein."
Finally, I think that Mel hits the nail on the head when he says (repeatedly) that so many scenes are emotional at the same time that they're being funny. This film was made with such love by all concerned, and it shows. Yes, it can be occasionally crass, and go for obvious cheap laughs (albeit MUCH less so than any movie Mel has made before or since), but what one ultimately takes away from this movie is the incredible amount of care everyone took with the project. Hell, you might even find yourself with a tear in your eye at the end (I did-- the awesome score by John Morris helps a lot!). Alas, Mel and Gene were never again to collaborate on a script (it is amazing that the Borscht Belt comedy of Mel Brooks and the hopeless romanticism of Gene Wilder found such fertile creative ground in the first place!), so this movie is lightning in a bottle (pun intended). Don't miss it.
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on December 3, 1999
Features, features, features. Anyone who loves this film and loves special DVD features MUST buy this special addition. There are about 30 minutes of deleted scenes, hilarious bloopers and Mel Brooks tops it all off with insightful, intelligent commentary. A great DVD that does justice to one of the greatest classic comedies of all time. I couldn't turn it off.
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on December 6, 1999
...yes, even better than "Airplane", and quite possibly the funniest film of all time, period. Side-splittingly funny and infinitely quotable, this is film is absolutely priceless. Filmed in black and white, the movie is filled with atmosphere, fantastic one-liners and classic characters. Marty Feldman and Madeline Kahn completely steal the show, you'd never guess that Inga was the same Terri Garr from "Tootsie", Cloris Leachman is virtually, wonderfully, unrecognizable, and you will never- and I mean NEVER- be able to look at Peter Boyle the same way again after seeing his portrayal of the monster (especially after viewing "Puttin' on the Ritz"). The fantastic script, by both Brooks and star Gene ("it's pronounced Fronkensteen") Wilder, was nominated for an Oscar, and so fantastic are the lines that you will find yourself using them in every-day life (I have and still do). This movie will make you giggle, chuckle and laugh out loud. It's the blueprint for all parody films ever made and it's still the very best. This is a movie that can be watched over and over, as little things will get by you on the first couple of viewings. I love the tip of the cap to "The Bride of Frankenstein" near the end of the film and especially love Kenneth Mars' portrayal of the heavily accented town Constable ("Footschteps, footschteps, footschteps!"). This is my all-time favorite movie. And "Bluecher" in German means "glue"...
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People might find other Mel Brooks films to be funnier, pointing to "The Producers" and "Blazzing Saddles," but I still think that "Young Frankenstein" is far and away his best film ever. Of course this might be because a lot of the credit goes to Gene Wilder, who co-wrote the script and plays Dr. Frederick Frankenstein, grandson of the infamous monster maker who finally decides to pick up the family business.
Then there is the first-rate cast, with Peter Boyle as the Monster ("Putting on the Riiittzzzz"), Marty Feldman as Igor ("What hump?"), Madeline Kahn as Elizabeth ("Ah, sweet mystery of life at last you've found me!"), Terri Garr as Inga ("Roll, roll, roll in the hay!", and Cloris Leachman as Frau Blucher (Neeeeiiigghghh!!!!!). I even like the film score by John Morris that sets the right tone from start to finish, including the haunting theme that lures the monster back to the castle where he was born (with a nice French horn part for Igor).
But what I really think makes this film work is that there are several scenes that are played absolutely straight, such as when Frederick reclaims his family name and the Monster is tormented in the jail cell. Then there is the doctor's speech at the moment of creation, which stacks up against anything you will find in any of the classic Universal Frankenstein films: "From that fateful day when stinking bits of slime first crawled from the sea and shouted to the cold stars, 'I am man', our greatest dread has always been the knowledge of our mortality. But tonight, we shall hurl the gauntlet of science into the frightful face of death itself. Tonight, we shall ascend into the heavens. We shall mock the earthquake. We shall command the thunders, and penetrate into the very womb of impervious nature herself!"
Wow. Read that and tell me that Brooks and Wilder did not know what they were doing in this one. Yes, this is a comedy, but it has a strong affection for the films it is spoofing, "Frankenstein" and "The Bride of Frankenstein," that comes through in several excellent homages. The extra material included on the DVD shows that Brooks and Wilder left lots of funny shtick on the cutting room floor, which should not surprise anyone. There is no reason that "Young Frankenstein" and "The Producers" cannot be included on anybody's list of Top 10 Comedy Films of All-Time. They are both are mine.
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on June 28, 2010
The new Hi-Def transfer used for the Blu-ray disc has more detail, but also suffers form increased film grain. All of Mel Brook's FOX features suffer from grainy film stock, in this case it is more acceptable as it is a spoof of old horror movies.

One issue I have is the distributor's insistance on rpesenting this in wide-screen. After producing Blazing Saddles in Color & Anamorphic Widescreen, Mel Brooks wanted to duplicate the style of the 1930's horror films by shooting Young Frankenstein in B&W FULL FRAME. Mel understood that most theaters could not handle the old Full Frame aspect ratio, so he kept the action within the letterboxed matte but kept the matte open in the cameras so that future showings on TV would include the full square picture. The original Laserdisc retained this full frame & it feels like watching an old 1930's Frankenstein movie, just like Mel intended. To add to this frustration, the original deleted scenes from the Laserdisc (& later DVD) are ported over to this Blu-ray in their original un-cropped full frame image. So you get an idea how this film was intended to be seen.

That said, on to the new to Blu-ray Bonus Material. After having an abundance of bonus material on the old Laserdsic & DVD, I was surprised to find even more material found for this Blu-ray presentation. First up is a new set of interviews with Mel & the crew giving more tidbits about the making of the movie. Intermixed in this are clips from the various original Frankenstein movies that inspired Young Frankenstein. You get to see what Mel kept & what he changed (I forgot Igor was not the original assistant's name).

Even more out-takes have been found (this time masked for widescreen). This time we get raw, unedited camera footage of alternate takes or alternate storylines. This will be the only chance you get driector Mel Brooks in Young Frankenstein as he can be heard giving verbal cues to the actors. He even pops into frame a few times. The previous out-takes had already gone through final edit before they were removed from the movie. These never made it past the raw daily screenings.

So if you are wondering about upgrading your older DVD to this Blu-ray disc, the additional bonus material may be the final push to the Blu-ray disc. The increase in picture detail & lack of digital artifacting is hindered a bit by the increase in grain, so that may not be enough reason to ungrade.
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VINE VOICEon October 2, 2005
YOUNG FRANKENSTEIN is one of the funniest movies I've ever seen. There are so many things that Mel Brooks and Gene Wilder got right in this film, it is hard to enumerate them. Suffice it to say that this film, spawned from a real love of the "Frankenstein" films of the 1930s, manages to satirize the originals with perfect grace, all the while creating a movie that is strangely touching in its own right. The comedy is spot-on and I found myself rolling at several points.

The film itself is gorgeous. It is entirely shot in black & white. It was a great decision to do so, too: the black & white film lends the movie a "haunted" feel that transports the audience back to the shadows and gloom of the 1930s originals. Not only does the B&W film allow us to "get in the right mood," I also believe that it is what contributes to the fact that YOUNG FRANKENSTEIN achieves more than just a simple parody. As strange as it sounds, particularly when compared to modern parodies, this film manages to tell a touching story. There is a real human element to this film, despite all of its (hilarious) off-color jokes and humor.

Let me make a few comments on the special features: this is not a crummy DVD. There are a bunch of extras that make this edition worthy of buying. The DVD quality is superb. Additionally, there is a commentary by Brooks, a 36 minute documentary, outtakes, deleted scenes, and some weird "Mexican" interviews. I particularly enjoyed watching the documentary of how this wonderful film came to the big screen. It was obviously a labor of love and it shows.

If you enjoy Mel Brooks's films, the original Frankenstein films, or simply a great & timeless comedy, you honestly cannot go wrong with YOUNG FRANKENSTEIN. It holds up after thirty years and will continue to do so for many to come.
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on September 24, 2000
This is probably Mel Brook's finest work, though some might vote for Blazing Saddles or the Producers. Not me, though. I'll take this one. In a tribute to the old horror movies of yore, Brooks puts together the perfect cast to carry it out. Gene Wilder as Dr. Frankenstein (pronounced FRONKENSTEEN), Marty Feldman as Igor (pronounced EYEGORE), Teri Garr as the lab assistant Inga, Peter Boyle, Cloris Leachman, and my personal favorite from the movie Madeline Khan. Her scene with Marty Feldman standing at the doorway of the castle and the one where she saunters into the bedroom looking like Elsa Lanchester are both absolute total screams. The great thing about the cast is the fact that they all are in total flow with the movie and with each other. The DVD has many extra features which makes it miles ahead of the VHS tape.
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on January 19, 2000
The movie, a marvelous spoof, is well known to most. The DVD packaging, however, deserves comment. This is the way to make a DVD. Apart from the film itself, perfectly transposed to the digital medium, are many extras: included on the disc are interviews with some of the cast, a 36 minute documentary of the making of the film, and an audio commentary by director funny Mel Brooks. The film was simultaneously an homage and a spoof. The DVD is pure homage. For all other studios -- this is how a DVD should be.
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