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Customer Review

211 of 234 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great movie...DVD worth the money (but warning!), May 26, 2003
This review is from: Young Frankenstein (Special Edition) (DVD)
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 (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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Showing 1-4 of 4 posts in this discussion
Initial post: May 9, 2008 3:07:54 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on May 9, 2008 3:08:34 PM PDT
al rotundo says:
this is the same set-up as my Blazing Saddles DVD - no commentary on the main menu, but you can get it from the language selection menu (I found it by accident)

Posted on Jun 28, 2010 12:13:28 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jun 28, 2010 12:15:31 PM PDT
1) You can always acces commentary tracks by pushing the "Audio" button on your remote, you will ave to go past the alternate languages first.

2) Son of Frankenstein was not the only movie spoofed here, just watch Bride of Frankenstein. If you buy the Young Frankenstein Blu-ray disc, the new bonus material actually shows you the original scenes from the 1930's movies that inspired the sequences in Young Frankenstein. The producers discuss why they worked in the original movies & what Mel did to bring them into his movie.

Posted on Feb 28, 2011 6:53:16 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Feb 28, 2011 6:57:27 AM PST
C.S. says:
i love young frankenstein! I finally purchased it after all these years at an incredible
price from Gene Wilder was gorgeous to me then as well as cute as a button
today. You are truly a man after my own romantic heart. Maybe we'll meet in heaven.
Thank GOd! love to all, Carol The movie was genius! Gene, you are an
amazing man, actor, and kisser! Love you!

Posted on Oct 18, 2014 9:54:32 AM PDT
Thank you for your review on this movie Lori, I would have probably purchased the regular DVD instead if I hadn't read this review and not seen how informative the commentary was. For anyone else reading this ...beware... I thought I was reading the review for the regular DVD, Amazon has it placed there. I just happened to notice the "small print" under Lori's name where Amazon states "This review is from Young Frankenstein (Special Edition) (DVD)
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