I think it’s hard for anyone born after 1975 or so to understand how exciting movies used to be.
Going to the movies was an event, because we didn’t have all the television channels there are now, nor access to DVD players, Netflix, or online movies. If you saw a movie you absolutely loved at the theater, you knew you wouldn’t see it again unless you lucked out and it was eventually shown on network television. Back then, the only two ways to see a movie were in the theater and on television. Or so I thought.
When I got to college, I discovered that different campus groups had access to movies as fundraisers. They’d reserve an auditorium, obtain a movie and show it on a Friday or Saturday night for 75 cents a person. Each week there would be flyers all over campus advertising the coming weekend’s offerings.
That’s where I first saw “Young Frankenstein,” in an auditorium packed with rowdy college students. And it was so much fun! Some kids had seen the movie enough times on the weekends (the groups tended to show the same films over and over) that they yelled out the best lines as they occurred. It made for an entertaining evening. After that, I often saw my favorite movies two or three times, just because I could.
We watched “Young Frankenstein” here the other night. The audience was just three of us. But the movie is so funny that we laughed out loud pretty often.
The film is a Mel Brooks original, which means it’s a spoof. In this case, it’s poking fun at the original 1931 movie “Frankenstein” and also “Bride of Frankenstein” (1935). So if you’ve seen those films, you’ll fully understand why Brooks made “Young Frankenstein’ the way he did.
We were always pretty strict about which movies we allowed our kids to watch (I can hear my adult kids now chiming in from two different states, “You sure were!”), and so I can’t recommend this movie for the under-16 crowd. But it’s a stitch for older teens, and for 50-year-old parents who still remember their fellow classmates whinnying loudly in the Auditorium every time one of the actors mentions “Frau Blucher.”