Filmsite Movie Review
Young Frankenstein (1974)
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Plot Synopsis (continued)

Two classic parody scenes followed, the first taken from Frankenstein (1931) (the little girl drowning sequence) and the second from The Bride of Frankenstein (1935) (the hermit scene):

(1) A little German girl named Helga (Anne Beesley) with blonde pigtails and bangs, was singing as she amused herself by tossing petals of her flower, one-by-one, into a well. Behind her, the Monster approached and moaned: "Mmmmm." Meanwhile, her parents (Michael Fox, Lidia Kristen) had boarded up their house after rumors of the Monster "on the loose," and both mistakenly thought the other had put Helga to bed. Outside, once all of Helga's flower petals had been thrown in the well, she asked: "Oh, dear. Nothing left. What shall we throw in now?" As she sat on one end of a see-saw (or teeter-totter), the Monster moved to the other end, straddled the board, and let his heavy body fall onto the board. His immense weight catapulted Helga through the air - and luckily into her open window. She landed in her bed and instantly fell asleep, just at the moment her grateful parents peeked in to wish her good night.

(2) In a modest, remote cabin in the woods, peaceful violin music was heard coming from an old record player as a kitchen's fire heated a hanging kettle of soup. A bearded, blind hermit named Harold (Gene Hackman in a cameo role) knelt and prayed at his bedside for company: "A visitor's all I ask. A temporary companion to help me pass a few short hours in my lonely life." At that instant, his beseechments were answered as the Monster burst through the front door with a loud roar: "Agggh!" The hermit gave thanks: "Thank you, Lord. Thank you." When the Monster gave his usual: "Mmmmmmm," the hermit cautioned him not to speak:

Oh, no, no, no. Don't speak. Don't say a word. Oh, my joy and my prize from heaven.
(He groped at the Monster)
Oh, you must've been the tallest one in your class. My name is Harold and I live here all alone. What is your name?
(The Monster responded: "Mmmmmmm")
I didn't get that.
(Another: "Mmmmmm")
No, forgive me. I didn't realize you were mute. You see how heaven plans. Me, a poor blind man, and you a mute. An incredibly big mute. But your hand is frozen, my child. How does a nice bowl of soup sound, huh?
(The Monster gave another: "Mmmmmm" and was led over to a crude wooden table with a single burning candle, a cup, a soup bowl, and a container of cigars)
Well, I know what it means to be cold and hungry. Yes, and how much it means to have a little kindness from a stranger. Are you ready for your soup?
(Another: "Mmmmmm")
Hold out your bowl, then. Oh, my friend, my friend.
(The hermit had lifted the kettle from its hook in the fireplace, brought it to the table, and began to ladle the soup)
You don't know what your visit means to me. How long I've waited for the pleasure of another human being.
(The hermit clumsily poured the boiling hot soup from the ladle into the Monster's lap - he screamed: "Owww!")
Sometimes in our preoccupation with worldly matters, we tend to forget the simple pleasures that are the basis for true happiness.
(A second ladle also missed the bowl, followed by another "Owww!")
Yes, yes, yes, oh. And now a little wine with your soup, huh? Good, good.
(The hermit poured wine from his bottle into a cup, held out by the Monster, who affirmed: "Mmmm," "Mmmm," "Mmmm")
Good, good. Yes, sir. Wait! A toast. A toast to, yes, to long friendship.
(The two heartily clinked their cups together, but the Monster's mug accidentally shattered)
How hungry you must have been. Now, now, now for a little surprise. For a special occasion, I've been saving - cigars.
(The hermit held up two cigars and offered one to the Monster)
Take one.
(He reached for the candle on the table to light their cigars, but the Monster reacted negatively and shyed away from the flame)
What? No, no, no. Fire is good. Fire is good. Yes, fire is our friend. Yes. I'll show you.
(He lit his own cigar with the candle)
You see? You see? Do you have your cigar? Let me see. Let me see.
(He positioned the cigar in the Monster's hand)
All right. Now, now, now. Just hold it right there. Now, don't inhale until the tip glows.
(He began to burn the Monster's thumb, causing him to scream and charge out through the door without opening it)
Wait. Wait. Where are you going? I was gonna make espresso.

The Monster stomped off into the woods, and eventually came upon the outskirts of the village with deserted streets, where he was drawn to the sounds of a bearded beggar (with a floppy hat) playing the Transylvanian tune he was familiar with on a violin. The Monster murmured affirmatively: "Mmmmmmm" and moved closer toward the lullaby. It was a trick - the violinist was the disguised Dr. Frankenstein, who cried out: "Now!" A net was dropped from above to entrap and entangle the Monster (with Igor's help), and then Frankenstein shouted: "Hurry. Bring the sedative." Inga ran from the darkness with a syringe and stabbed the creature in the center of his back. A few moments later, the Monster lost consciousness and collapsed (Frankenstein: "He's out!").

The Monster was transported back to the castle and then locked inside Baron Victor's private library. Before entering, Dr. Frankenstein instructed his cohorts:

Love is the only thing that can save this poor creature. And I am going to convince him that he is loved even at the cost of my own life. No matter what you hear in there, no matter how cruelly I beg you, no matter how terribly I may scream, do not open this door, or you will undo everything I've worked for. Do you understand? Do not open this door!

Everyone agreed, although Igor added calmly: "Nice working with you." After bravely entering and locking himself inside, the Monster rose up and threatened the doctor. He fled to the door and began begging to be let out: "Let me out. Let me out of here. Get me the hell out of here. What's the matter with you people? I was joking. Don't you know a joke when you hear one? Ha, ha, ha, ha. Jesus Christ, get me outta here! Open this god-damn door or I'll kick your rotten heads in. Mommy!"

Dr. Frankenstein devised a new strategy to protect himself - he began bribing, flattering and sweet-talking the Monster, and promising to humanize him, and introduce him to the world:

Hello, handsome! You're a good-looking fellow, do you know that? People laugh at you. People hate you, but why do they hate you? Because they are jealous. Look at that boyish face. Look at that sweet smile. Do you wanna talk about physical strength? Do you want to talk about sheer muscle? Do you want to talk about the Olympian ideal? You are a god! And listen to me. You are not evil. You are good! (The Monster became docile and crumpled into the doctor's embrace) This is a nice boy. This is a good boy. This is a mother's angel. And I want the world to know, once and for all and without any shame, that we love him! (The Monster began sobbing when he felt loved) I'm going to teach you. I'm gonna show you how to walk, how to speak, how to move, how to think. Together, you and I are going to make the greatest single contribution to science since the creation of fire!

The next sequence was introduced by a framed announcement at the entrance of the Bucharest Academy of Science. It advertised a SOLD-OUT One Night Only Performance. It was to be held by Dr. F. Frankenstein, Presenting THE CREATURE, in "A Startling New Experiment in Reanimation." Well-dressed and illustrious attendees in the theater's packed auditorium expectantly awaited a show-stopping presentation. However, a squad of riot police, led by Inspector Kemp, lined the back of the room as a precaution, as the lights dimmed. The program began with a spotlight on the Academy's director (Norbert Schiller) and emcee: "Distinguished colleagues, ladies and gentlemen. Tonight, it is my great privilege of introducing to you a man whose family name was once both famous and infamous. And now, may I present to you Doktor Baron Friedrich von Frankenstein."

The formally-dressed Dr. Frankenstein appeared from behind the curtain and to the disbelieving and stunned audience, he described his spectacular work in the reanimation of dead tissue:

My fellow scienti-tists and neurosurgeons, ladies and gentlemen. A few short weeks ago, coming from a background, believe me, as conservative and traditionally grounded in scientific fact as any of you, I began an experiment in, incredulous as it may sound, the reanimation of dead tissue. (audience laughter) What I have to offer you might possibly be the gateway to immortality. (audience incredulity) Ladies and gentlemen, may I present for your intellectual and philosophical pleasure - the Creature.

The Monster clomped out through an opening in the curtain and stiffly appeared center stage in a tent-like white surgical gown, causing some audience members to rise up or scream. He further had the Creature demonstrate some simple locomotion functions (forward and backward walking exercises), prompting appreciative and loud applause.

Please. Remain in your seats, I beg you. We are not children here. We are scientists. I assure you there is nothing to fear. First, may I offer for your consideration a neurological demonstration of the primary cerebellar functions: balance and coordination. Walk heel to toe. Backwards. Ladies and gentlemen, up until now, you've seen the Creature perform the simple mechanics of motor activity, but for what you are about to see next, we must enter quietly into the realm of genius. Ladies and gentlemen, mesdames et messieurs, damen und herren, from what was once an inarticulate mass of lifeless tissues, may I now present a cultured, sophisticated man about town. (The lights went dark, and the gown was removed) Hit it.

Then, the two performed a classic top-hat and cane, soft-shoe, tap-dancing duet of Irving Berlin's Puttin' on the Ritz complete with matching tuxedoes, canes and top hats. The Monster's slurred, squeaky, and high-pitched singing included the mis-pronounced punch-line refrain: "Punnondariiiiiiiizz!" Igor accompanied the duo on stage playing a piano keyboard, while Inga applauded from the wings.

[Note: the Irving Berlin song Puttin' on the Ritz did not originate with this film. It was first introduced in the film with the same title, director Edward Sloman's Puttin' on the Ritz (1930), and was performed by an uncredited Harry Richman (as vaudeville and nightclub singer Harry Raymond) and the chorus. It was also performed in MGM's operetta with Eddy/MacDonald, Naughty Marietta (1935), and tuxedoed/top-hatted Fred Astaire danced and sang the tune in Blue Skies (1946).]

Toward the end of their well-received number, one of the footlights at the front of the stage exploded. The frightened, humiliated and confused Monster froze, prompting some audience members' cheers to turn into jeers. Heads of lettuce and other objects were thrown at them. The enraged and tormented Monster went mad, pushed his creator doctor backwards to the stage floor, and then charged into the audience, but was soon subdued and captured by Kemp's police force. The creature was placed in a massive neck chain and thrown into a dungeon, where villagers from a window above mercilessly taunted him.

Back in the laboratory, Dr. Frankenstein was sorrowful: "Chained like a beast in a cage." He wished that he could tame the behavior of his creature but there seemed to be no possibility: "If I could find a way to equalize the imbalance in his cerebral-spinal fluid, why, he'd be as right as rain." Inga attempted to comfort Frederick:

If only there was some way I could relieve this torture you are going through. If there was some way I could help to relieve the tension. If there was just some way I could give you a little peace.

In the next scene, the reanimation operating table descended from the roof. Inga and Dr. Frankenstein (smoking a cigarette) had just slept together on the suspended table. Frau Blucher interrupted the doctor's 'work' to deliver a cable about the impending, unexpected arrival of his fiancee Elizabeth that evening. In front of the castle's front doors, Dr. Frankenstein (in a dressing gown with an ascot) and Inga (in a sparkling low-cut dress) greeted Elizabeth, who was wearing a fur wrap, gloves and a turban. They could hardly speak due to their joy at seeing each other: ("Darling - darling, surprised - surprised, love me? - love you, well, let's turn in - darling"). Igor imitated the doctor's words to Elizabeth. Inga was flustered when asked what her function was, and she stammered: "Well, I assist Dr. Fronkensteen in the laboratory. We have intellectual discussions und we... As a matter of fact, we were just having one as you were driving up." When asked to help with the bags, Igor replied:

Soitainly, you take the blonde and I'll take the one in the toiban. Grrr...

In the Monster's cell, a sadistic jailor (Oscar Beregi) taunted the creature with fire from two lit matches, poking them in the Monster's face:

You settle down now. 'Cause we're gonna be pals. Right? Nice and cozy. Just like old friends. (He struck a match to light his cigarette, and noticed the Monster's fearful reaction) What's the matter? You're afraid of this little fire? This can't hurt you. See? Ah, some Monster you are. See, Mama was right. Little boys ain't supposed to play with fire. (He lit a second match) Is they? 'Cause they might get hurt.

The Monster reached out defensively, grabbed the guard by the throat, and choked him to death. He ripped his neck chains from his body to free himself. At 10:30 pm that night, an angry mob of townsfolk shouting and gathered with torches to confront Inspector Kemp, who stepped outside to signal for quiet before urging the cheering crowd to riot:

A riot is an ugly thing. Und I think that it is just about time that we had one. (Members of the crowd yelled out: "Kill the Monster!") As heaven is my witness, (He raised his wooden arm) he will curse the day (garbled) that he was burn [born] a Frankenstein...I said, 'He will curse the day that he was born a Frankenstein.'

The mob followed as they marched to the castle to confront Dr. Frankenstein, who was at the same moment bemoaning the fact of the Monster's escape ("Loose. He's broken loose"). He was crouched at the feet of the sexually-repressed Elizabeth, who was wearing a sheer nightgown and fuzzy slippers. The self-proclaimed virgin discouraged him from sleeping with her by proposing a "tough choice" between two alternatives:

Would you want me like this now? So soon before our wedding, so near we can almost touch it? (He lunged for her)...Whoa, boy. Or to wait just a little while longer when I can give myself to you without hesitation, when I can be totally and unashamedly and legally yours?...You're a tough guy. (She gave him an air kiss)

When he leaned forward towards her for a real goodnight kiss (lips ready), she demanded: "No tongues" and their kiss was only perfunctory. Later in her bedroom, Elizabeth sang "The Battle Hymn of the Republic" as she rhythmically stroked and combed her hair. After an ominous figure appeared at her balcony door, partly illuminated by the full moon, Elizabeth screamed (and fainted). As the mob searched the surrounding area and neared the castle with bloodhounds, the escaped Monster carried the kidnapped Elizabeth through the fog-shrouded forest. When she awoke from unconsciousness (with white hair streaks) lying on a bed of leaves, she was confused about her whereabouts, but then when she realized she was about to be raped, she began to bargain with her captor:

Where am I? Aaaah! Who are you? What are you? What do you want? What are you going to do to me? (The Monster softly replied: "Mmmmmmm") Calm down. I'm not afraid of you. How much do you want to let me go? My father is very rich. You would have the entire world at your fingertips. Listen. I have to be back by 11.30. I'm expecting a very important call. Speak! Speak! Why don't you speak? What are you doing? Oh, you can't be serious. I'm af...

When she realized she was about to be raped, she looked down - and was pleasingly shocked when she sighted the Monster's enormous penis (Schwanzstucker). She reacted with a loud: "Oh, my God! WOOF!" She vainly tried to discourage the Monster with more lame excuses as he loomed over her: "I'm engaged. And once he... But I didn't... It was never...Ah! Ooh! Ah!"

In the musically-enhanced scene, she warbled one line of the tune: Oh, Sweet Mystery of Life - (Victor Herbert's composition from 1910):

Oh, Sweet mystery of life
At last I've found you (The Monster grunted and moaned)
At last I know the secret of your arms

Afterwards, in an opening heart-shaped iris, they shared a post-coitus cigarette (in the manner of Now, Voyager (1942)) and she asked: "Penny for your thoughts. (He responded: "Mmmmmm") You're incorrigible, aren't you? You little zipper-neck." She was impressed by his inhuman stamina: "All right. Seven has always been my lucky number. Come over here, you hot monster." The creature paused when it heard the playing of violin music and soon wandered off (as if under a spell), although the nymphomaniacal Elizabeth tried to distract him:

What is it? What's the matter? Is it that music? It's probably just from some nearby cottage. Nothing to worry about. Where are you going? Where? Oh, you men are all alike. Seven or eight quick ones and you're off with the boys, to boast and brag. You better keep your mouth shut. Oh, I think I love him.

The scene faded to black.

From the castle roof, the desperate Dr. Frankenstein was broadcasting his violin-playing via microphone to an enormous speaker-horn, to lure the creature back from the forest. Igor provided brief interludes in the sad tune with blasts from a French horn. Inga screamed with joy at the sight of the Monster: "Oh, look, he's coming back. Oh, look, the music. Oh, keep playing. It's the music. It's the music that's bringing him back. Come on. Come on. Come. Come on. You can do it. Come on. You can do it." The Monster struggled as he climbed the castle's outer wall, and scaled the top, with Frankenstein's encouragement. As the Monster collapsed, Dr. Frankenstein asked: "Have all the preparations been made for the transference?...It's the only thing that can save him now." Igor cautioned that there was a risk to both of their lives.

In the final transference operation conducted in the laboratory, two operating tables were positioned next to each other and raised up vertically - one held the strapped-on Dr. Frankenstein and the other the Monster. Inga and Igor wore white lab coats and supervised the transference procedure. Electrodes were attached to each subject's metal skull cap and wires connected the two. According to Igor, they had been instructed to allow the electrical current to surge through them for only fifteen minutes: "The doctor said to allow 15 minutes. Not one second more or less." Their timing was threatened by the raging and shouting Kemp-led mob with pitchforks and torches storming the castle, using Kemp's wooden arm as a battering ram through the door. The chaos led to a stampede into the laboratory that interrupted the experimental transference as Inga screamed and begged them: "Just another seven seconds." Their lab machinery was destroyed at three seconds before 12 midnight - only three seconds before the scheduled end of the transference experiment.

As the villagers dragged Dr. Frankenstein's inert body toward the stairs, a booming and commanding voice shouted out: "Put that man down!" It was the Monster, who authoritatively repeated his command. The villagers were stunned to realize that the source of the words was from the Monster himself, who jumped up from the table. Meekly, the mob obeyed. Kemp stepped forward and questioned the Monster:

Kemp: "Und just who do you think you are that you order these people about?"
Monster: "I am the Monster...As long as I can remember, people have hated me. They looked at my face and my body and they ran away in horror. In my loneliness, I decided that if I could not inspire love, which was my deepest hope, I would instead cause fear! I live, because this poor, half-crazed genius has given me life. He alone held an image of me as something beautiful. And then, when it would have been easy enough to stay out of danger, he used his own body as a guinea pig to give me a calmer brain and a somewhat more sophisticated way of expressing myself."
Kemp: "Well, this is, of course, an entirely different situation. As the leader of this community, may I be the first to offer you my hand in friendship." (Kemp's wooden arm came off in the Monster's grip)

Frau Blucher was tearfully overjoyed by the successful completion of her secret love's life-work. With the situation defused, the placated crowd dispersed - everyone was invited to Kemp's house for sponge cake and wine (after visiting the lumberyard to fix his detached arm). Inga, Igor, and the Monster put their ears to the doctor's chest.

After an iris in-iris out transition, Dr. Frankenstein carried his new bride Inga into his castle's master bedroom from their recent wedding ceremony. He declared her "Mrs. Frankenstein" without correcting the name's pronunciation, symbolizing his acceptance of his family's name and legacy after humanizing the Monster. He expectantly awaited her preparations for sex in the bathroom, where she began to hum the familiar Transylvanian tune. Dr. Frankenstein became transfixed, his eyes glazed, and he touched his forehead.

In the meantime in a parallel scene, in her luxurious New York City apartment, Elizabeth was humming "The Battle Hymn of the Republic" in the bathroom. She called to the adjacent bedroom, where the intellectual and erudite Monster (clad in elegant silk pajamas) was reading The Wall Street Journal in bed, with half-lens readers. She warned about her approach: "Here I come" - she sported a beehive hairdo [Note: It resembled the female creature's (Elsa Lanchester) hairdo in The Bride of Frankenstein (1935)], and hissed and snorted at him as she danced toward the bed for hot sex together. The Monster faced the camera and grinned: "Mmmmmmm."

Back in Transylvania, Dr. Frankenstein also responded with "Mmmmm" in his bedroom. As he climbed into bed to have sex for the first time (after the operation) with Inga, she asked, quizzically:

You know, it's a puzzlement. There's something I've always wanted to ask you about that operation. You know in the transference part, the monster got part of your wonderful brain, but what did you ever get from him?

He was about to please his new bride - now endowed with the Monster's enormous Schwanzstucker. There was a zoom-in closeup of Frankenstein's expectant face (with another "Mmmmmm") and the fireplace as Inga screamed out ecstatically and delightedly off-screen: "Oh, no, I don't believe, oh, ow, oh, oh!" And then she began to break out in song herself: "O, Sweet Mystery of Life, at last I've found you."

Appearing to be a gargoyle on the castle's roof, Igor played notes on his French horn, ending the film. In the end credits, the cast of actors were identified as "The Players."

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