My grandfather was a very sick man. You are talking about the nonsensical ravings of a lunatic mind. Dead is dead. Hearts and kidneys are tinker toys! I'm talking about the central nervous system! I am a scientist, not a philosopher! There's more chance of reanimating this scalpel, then you have of mending a broken nervous system. My grandfather's work was doodoo! I am not interested in death! The only thing that concerns me is the preservation of life! Dr. Frederick Frankenstein
For years, Dr. Frederick Frankenstein (Gene Wilder) has tried to distance himself from the mad science of his grandfather, the original Dr. Frankenstein. He is so desperate not to be linked to it that he swears his name is pronounced "Frankensteen," not "Frankenstein." Yet he is still drawn to the science that his grandfather was enveloped in. The young Frankenstein is also a doctor, and he touts the importance of the central nervous system to fresh medical minds whilst damning the name of the first Dr. Frankenstein. But then he is presented with an ornate box, his grandfather's will, and given the key to understanding his relative's madness.
And this is the brilliance of Mel Brooks' stylish, black and white Young Frankenstein. Based on Mary Shelley's novel, and co-written with star Wilder, the comedy was part of a duo with Blazing Saddles that made 1974 a wonder year for the relatively new director -- one that garnered him five Oscar nominations between the two. The solid source material and stellar writing were only part of the film's success. It boasted one of the best comedic casts to ever hit the screen -- Wilder, Cloris Leachman, and Teri Garr, as well as some of the best faces of comedy who are no longer with us -- the purring and wonderful Madeline Kahn, the world's best monster, Peter Boyle, and the scene-stealing Marty Feldman.