Young Frankenstein is the story about an American grandson of one notorious scientist who struggles to make sure that everyone knows about his grandfather as a sane person regardless of the insane image that his grandfather had. This grandson is once invited to Transylvania and there he discovers about a process which can reanimate a corpse.
Young Frankenstein of 1974 was nominated for two Oscars at the time of its release; it was nominated in the category of Best writing and screenplay adapted from other sources; along with it the movie was also nominated in the category of best sound. Apart from the Oscars, the movie won several awards like Golden Screen in Germany, Hugo Awards, National Film Preservation and more. Due to the collaborative effort of the cast and crew of the movie, it won 11 awards.
In order of the credits of the movie, the cast were Gene Wilder, Peter Boyle, Marty Feldman, Madeline Kahn, Cloris Leachman, Teri Garr, Kenneth Mars, Richard Haydn, Liam Dunn, Danny Goldman, Oscar Berregi Jr., Arthur Malet, Richard Roth, Molte Landis, Rusty Blitz, Anne Beesley, Gene Hackman, John Madison, John Dennis, Rick Norman, Rolfe Sedan, Terence Pushman, Randolph Dobbs, Norbert Schiller, Pat O’Hara, Michael Fox and Lidia Kristen. There are several other casts who played a role in the movie but were uncredited.
The protagonist of the film was played by Gene Wilder which had the name of Fredrick Frankenstein. Fredrick is the grandson of the notorious scientist who was insane according to the people of the place. The character played by Gene Wilder struggles to accept the family name due to the insanity associated with it. However, the movie show how he found his grandfather’s journal and successfully reanimates a dead body and eventually accepts the insanity that runs through his family.
However, it’s important to notice the way Fredrick treats the monster after creating it. He is seen to be the opposite of his father; his father was mean and brutal; however, Fredrick is exactly the opposite. He is not cruel to the monster that he created and in fact he treated the monster like a mother would treat her sons. Wilder’s character in the movie refuses to abandon the monster unlike the one in the Shelley’s novel.
Peter Boyle in the movie portrayed the role of the monster that was created by the grandson of the infamous scientist. The creation of the monster was unintentional; actually Dr. Frankenstein wanted to create a creature with the brain of a saintly and a brilliant scientist. However, it does not go according to the plan and a monster with a criminal mindset is created whose role is brilliantly played by Boyle.
Teri Garr has to play the role of the lab assistant of Fredrick Frankenstein. Garr had to wear skimpy clothes for her role and her character had the duty to administer sedatives to the monster which the doctor created. Garr had to portray a country girl who is not only innocent but also completely unaware of the seductiveness that she possesses. The character of Inga ends up being married to the doctor which is not surprising to the audience for the equal level of intellectuality that both of them has.
Apart from Inga, Doctor Fredrick Frankenstein has another assistant by the name of Igor and this character is played by Marty Feldman. It was difficult for Feldman to play this part since the character of Igor is one such character that has an astounding physical appearance. He had to have one bug eye and a hump on his back. Feldman’s character had the job of assisting the doctor instead of which, all he did was to joke sarcastically on the works of the doctor.
Cloris Leachman in the 1974 movie of Yung Frankenstein bagged the role of the eerie and mysterious caretaker of a castle by the name of Frau Blucher. Leachman’s character apart from scaring humans, manages to scare the horses too. Blucher seems to still have some feelings for the old and dead doctor and when she sees Fredrick, her feelings surfaces out. Cloris Leachman did an excellent job in portraying her character as a creepy lady who played violins in order to carry out the family tradition of the Frankensteins.
The role of the fiancée of Fredrick Frankenstein is played by Madeline Kahn; her character Elizabeth showed no such interest in Fredrick as a lover at the initial stage of the movie. She had to act seductive like the character of Elizabeth needs to be portrayed; Elizabeth did not have any physical contact with Fredrick, she did not like her hair to be messy at all and liked to remain perfect. It is said that for the role of Elizabeth, Madeline was incomparable and it was only she who could have pulled the act of playing Elizabeth.
Actors like Arthur Malet, John Madison, Rick Norman, Randolph Dobbs and more played the roles of villagers in the movie of Young Frankenstein. Their characters needed to show the kind of lives they led being in the shadow of the castle of Frankenstein. Each of the characters showed that there is no trust among them and they live in fear of the Frankenstein and the unknown. This fear took the form of anger and angry mob when they attacked the Frankenstein’s castle. The villagers comprised of diverse characters which were played aptly by the actors.
The character played by Gene Hackman has been on the screen for just few minutes and even then Hackman requested to be a part of the film through this character. It is the character of a lonely and blind priest and it is also not credited in the movie. Hackman successfully manages to blend the pathos of his character with the comedy of the movie. It is because of his excellent blending of the pathos with comedy in scenes like spilling soup on the monster, shattering the wine glass and calling back the monster for the espresso, that his character needs a special mention.