Young Frankenstein

Mel Brooks’ inspired 1974 spoof is probably his best movie, affectionately rooted in the James Whale originals (particularly Bride of Frankenstein) yet knowingly updated with innuendo and vaudeville. Gene Wilder stars as the reluctant mad scientist who’s determined not to follow in his grandfather’s footsteps. The great Madeline Kahn plays his fiancée, destined to end up with quite another man (er, monster, played by Peter Boyle). Marty Feldman is the goggle-eyed hunchback. Wilder and Brooks are both credited with the script, which includes countless classic gags—from “What knockers!” to “It could be worse; it could be raining.”—and much horse whinnying at the mention of Frau Blücher (Cloris Leachman). Brooks was able to reuse portions of the original Frankenstein laboratory sets that Universal had saved; and that period integrity is one reason the comedy holds up so well. In a way, the Borscht Belt is as timeless as Transylvania. (PG) BRIAN MILLER

Oct. 15-17, 7 p.m.; Mon., Oct. 18, 10 p.m.; Oct. 19-20, 7 & 9:30 p.m., 2010

 
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