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Sunday, August 14, 2016

10 Things You Didn't know About Young Frankenstein




Young Frankenstein



10.  The Blind Man's parting line "I was gonna make espresso" was not in the script, but was ad-libbed by Gene Hackman during shooting. This is the reason for the immediate fade to black as the crew immediately erupted into fits of laughter. Hackman was uncredited when the movie was originally released in theaters.

9.  The shifting hump on Igor's back was an ad-libbed gag of Marty Feldman's. He had surreptitiously been shifting the hump back and forth for several days when cast members finally noticed. It was then added to the script.

8.  Final film of Oscar Beregi Jr.

7.  Supposedly the scene which required the most takes to be filmed was the one in which Igor bites Elizabeth's animal wrap. The reason was because each time he did it he was left with a piece of fur in his mouth which caused the other actors to laugh hysterically.

6.  The howling wolf sound on the ride to the castle was made by director Mel Brooks.

5.  The idea of Frederick's dart hitting a cat was ad-libbed on set. When Gene Wilder threw his dart off camera, director Mel Brooks quickly screamed like a cat to create the illusion.

4 . The clock chimes 13 times at the beginning of the film.

3.  Final film of Richard Haydn.

2.  Most of Richard Haydn's role was deleted from the final print.

1.  Peter Boyle had to wear a special pad over his crotch to avoid being scalded during the blind man scene.


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EXTRAS



When Mel Brooks was preparing this film, he found that Ken Strickfaden, who had made the elaborate electrical machinery for the lab sequences in the Universal Frankenstein films, was still alive and in the Los Angeles area. Brooks visited Strickfaden and found that he had saved all the equipment and stored it in his garage. Brooks made a deal to rent the equipment for his film and gave Strickfaden the screen credit he'd deserved, but hadn't gotten, for the original films.

The original cut of the movie was almost twice as long as the final cut, and it was considered by all involved to be an abysmal failure. It was only after a marathon cutting session that they produced the final cut of the film, which both Gene Wilder and Mel Brooks considered to be far superior to the original product. At one point they noted that for every joke that worked, there were three that fell flat. So they went in and trimmed all the jokes that didn't work.

Mel Brooks initially thought that the "Walk this way" gag was too corny and wanted it cut from the film. But, when he saw the audience's reaction to it one night at a screening, he decided to leave it in.
So in 1974, the band Aerosmith took a break from a long night of recording to see this film. Steven Tyler wrote the band's hit "Walk This Way" the morning after seeing the movie, inspired by Marty Feldman's first scene, the "walk this way . . . this way" scene.

Gene Wilder and Mel Brooks got into only one fight during the movie's production, but it was a big one with Mel throwing a huge temper tantrum, yelling and raging and eventually storming out of Gene's apartment (where the men had been working on the script). Roughly ten minutes later, Gene's phone rang. The caller was Mel, who had this to say: "WHO WAS THAT MADMAN YOU HAD IN YOUR HOUSE? I COULD HEAR THE YELLING ALL THE WAY OVER HERE. YOU SHOULD NEVER LET CRAZY PEOPLE INTO YOUR HOUSE - DON'T YOU KNOW THAT? THEY COULD BE DANGEROUS." That, as Gene later put it, was "Mel's way of apologizing".

Gene Wilder conceived the "Puttin' on the Ritz" scene, while Mel Brooks was resistant to it as a mere "conceit" and felt it would detract from the fidelity to Universal horror films in the rest of the film. Wilder recalls being "close to rage and tears" and argued for the scene before Brooks stopped him and said, "It's in!". When Wilder asked why he had changed his mind, Brooks said that since Wilder had fought for it then it would be the right thing to do. But it was only when he soon saw the musical number along with a howling audience that Brooks was finally confident about the sequence.

When the monster is being brought back to life, the area around his eyes (and what appears to be his teeth) begin to glow. This was done with a plastic head created to look exactly like that of Peter Boyle. Some fake teeth, fake brain tissue, and a light were used to create the effect.

Cloris Leachman, on NPR's "Fresh Air" on June 3, 2009, claimed that Mel Brooks told her that the name of her character Frau Blücher resembles the word for "glue" in German, hence the reason for the horse whinnies. If he really said this, then he was pulling her leg as was his habit. "Frau Blücher" bears no resemblance to any known word for glue in any German dialect, whether formal or slang. Frau means Mrs. and Blücher is a very common name, essentially equivalent to Jones. According to supplementary information on the DVD the horse's terror at her name is meant to show that she is a terrible and frightening person and, according to Gene Wilder, "Lord only knows what she does to them when no one is around". On the other hand, they react to the name, not her presence, weakening this idea. One idea has been proposed that the name reminds them of an incident in the career of Prussian Field Marshal Gebhardt von Blücher, where his horse died under him in the war of 1815. Or maybe it's just a silly gag with no meaning at all.

Gene Wilder constantly cracked up during takes. According to Cloris Leachman, "He killed every take [with his laughter] and nothing was done about it!" Shots would frequently have to be repeated as many as fifteen times before Wilder could finally summon a straight face.

It's been rumored for many years that the scene where Frederick accidentally stabs himself with a scalpel wasn't in the script, and that Gene Wilder accidentally did it for real but continued the scene. This is false. In fact, if you look closely enough, you can see the square patch under Wilder's pant leg which the scalpel was meant to stab.

One afternoon while shooting, Anne Bancroft (Mrs. Mel Brooks) visited the set and told Teri Garr that she and Mel had seen The Conversation (1974) the night before, which features Garr and Gene Hackman in the cast. Garr replied, "Oh, yeah, that turned out to be a pretty good movie." Bancroft responded, "Honey, *this* is a movie. The Conversation (1974) is a film."
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