11 March 2008

Young Frankenstein, 1974

Filed under: Movies — ktismatics @ 7:23 am

From The Writer’s Almanac for 11 March (thanks to blueVicar for the reference):

It was on this day in 1818 that Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein was published. Shelley was only 19 years old when she wrote the novel, and the first edition was published anonymously with a preface written by her husband, Percy Bysshe Shelly. She revised the novel and published it under her name own name in 1823. The story of Frankenstein’s monster was first staged as a play in 1823 in London and was followed shortly thereafter by a musical burlesque. Today there are more than 80 films that carry ‘Frankenstein’ in their title.”

According to Wikipedia, “The original version of Berlin’s song included references to the then-popular fad of well-dressed but poor black Harlemites parading up and down Lenox Avenue. Berlin later revised the lyrics to apply to affluent whites strutting ‘up and down Park Avenue’.” Lenox Avenue is now co-named Malcolm X Boulevard.



  1. this was a nice movie. i watched it when i was still very young, so mostly i just remember that i liked it. I think it might even be where my original image of the Frankenstein monster comes from. For some strange reason, the only thing about the movie that isn’t fuzzy is igor telling Dr frankenstein that the monster got ‘abi normals’ brain (that is, the moment when Dr Frankenstein realizes why his creation is a little soft of the brain). What I think is interesting here is that the monstrosity of the monster, his abominable being, is not a side-effect of the blasphemy of assuming the work of the divine – creating life – but instead, just a simple technical error…that is, in the using of defective parts. Now, as a kid, i remember wondering why Franknstein, didn’t just change the monster’s brain or make a better one … suggesting that, when i was a kid, i was probably a fascist.


    Comment by dionysusstoned — 11 March 2008 @ 3:00 pm

  2. also there is a certain ease about the routine, a kind of strolling for its own sake that reminds me of benjamin’s flaneur


    Comment by dionysusstoned — 11 March 2008 @ 3:06 pm

  3. It’s funny to think about Frankenstein’s monster out for a casual stroll through the smart section of the city. Mary Shelley’s monster maybe — he was an intellectual without a fixed agenda, though his hideousness might have offended his fellow flaneurs.

    In the original the Creature represents man overstepping his bounds through technology. Maybe for Mel Brooks the Creature represents his fear of going beyond his artistic limits. I’d think that’s a stretch, but I remember reading an interview with him in which he compared himself to Woody Allen, and though he was self-deprecatingly funny you could tell he saw himself as an important filmmaker. You’ll observe that what finally drives the Monster mad is critical audience response to his performance. Happening to be outfitted with Abi Normal’s brain was a key asset for Mel Brooks as it turned out.

    Mel Brooks’ son has written two books about zombies — I hear they’re pretty good.


    Comment by ktismatics — 11 March 2008 @ 4:49 pm

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