53. Young Frankenstein (A)
54. The Producers (B+)
Mel Brooks introduced this double feature a week ago (or was it two?) at the Aero Theatre in Los Angeles, in honor of the late Kenneth Mars, who co-stars in both films. It was a lot of fun and Brooks was pretty lively for a man of 84 years.
I like them both -- they're top tier when it comes to Brook's filmography -- but I definitely like Young Frankenstein
the most out of the pair. It models itself off of the already campy Bride of Frankenstein
and then dials things up even further. As far as the Monster goes, Peter Boyle is second only to Karloff when it comes to on-screen depictions of the character. The rest of the cast is equally good (especially
Marty Feldman and Madeline Khan), and Gene Hackman's unbilled (in the main titles, at least) cameo is still a treat. "Werewolf!" "There, wolf." "There, castle." Positively brilliant dialogue by Brooks and Wilder.
I shouldn't discount The Producers
, though. Wilder is a stand-out (his business with his baby blanket is hilarious), but it's the supporting characters who lift the movie towards becoming a comedic masterpiece (L.S.D., Roger, Carmen Giya, and Franz Liebkind). I like the musical (although the film adaptation of it was a bit of a dud), but this original version is still my favorite. "Springtime for Hitler," of course, is a hilarious musical number in any language.