100. "Young Frankenstein"
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Gene Wilder first told Mel Brooks about his idea to make a "Frankenstein"
comedy while they were shooting "Blazing Saddles." The director wasn't
interested. Fortunately, Wilder convinced Brooks that a parody of the classic
Universal Pictures "Frankenstein" movies would work, and the result is the best
film either of them have ever done. And that's saying a lot, considering Brooks
and Wilder had struck comedic gold with "Blazing Saddles" in February 1974. But
when "Young Frankenstein" came out 10 months later, they'd taken comedy to
another level. Interestingly, one of the film's funniest moments almost didn't
happen. Brooks didn't want to use the classic song-and-dance number where Dr.
Frankenstein (Wilder) and the Monster (Peter Boyle) perform "Puttin' on the
Ritz." The director felt the scene wouldn't work, but Wilder, who co-wrote the
script, fought to keep it in the movie. Once again, Wilder knew what he was
talking That scene, and the movie, is pure comedic gold, proving that sometimes
you have to stand by your convictions when you think something is funny.
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That's why I broke up with a girlfriend who said "Young Frankenstein" wasn't
funny. I figured if she was that wrong about comedy, I didn't want to know what
else she was wrong about. — David Walker (Gene Wilder and Peter
Boyle in "Young Frankenstein"/©Mary Evans/Ronald Grant/Courtesy Everett