History repeats first as tragedy, then as farce, and that's where Mel Brooks comes in, with the most artful of all his spoofs, filmed in glorious black and white, recreating the look of James Whale's monster movies for Universal. After years of trying to live down his family's reputation, Gene Wilder's "Dr. Fronk-en-steen" returns to the family castle and embraces his destiny: to build a better monster (Peter Boyle). He's abetted by hunchback "Eyegor" (Marty Feldman) and peasant girl/new love interest Inga (Teri Garr); Cloris Leachman is delightfully creepy as the castle keeper Frau Blücher (cue horse whinny), and Madeline Kahn sizzles as Wilder's jilted fiancée Elizabeth. DIR/SCR Mel Brooks; SCR Gene Wilder, based on characters from "Frankenstein" by Mary Shelley; PROD Michael Gruskoff. U.S., 1974, b&w, 106 min. RATED PG
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