year: 1975
cast: Gene Wilder, Peter Boyle
director: Mel Brooks
rating: *1/2

Loving the first two 1930's Frankenstein movies directed by James Whale, there's one segment I enjoyed that parodies those classics, wherein various scenes dissolve in and out quickly (which happens in a lot of old movies - individual scenes lasting only five seconds before fading into a new one) involving a man running into a tree while cautiously creeping through the fog. I think that might have been the only time I laughed out loud. Gene Wilder can be a nifty comedic actor and this movie looks terrific - almost like a Whale production in itself - and quite often I'd forget it was a satire at all. It seemed as if everyone involved in the cast and crew were so happy working together that a really tight script, or really strong punch lines, simply didn't matter. Aided by the gorgeous black and white cinematography and because of the talent involved (including Wilder in the title role, Peter Boyle as the Monster, and Maeline Kahn, as the volt-haired Bride, once again given way too much freedom to adlib), the magic would win out in the end. And I guess, since this is not only considered Mel Brooks best and funniest film (Blazing Saddles is so much better) but one of the premiere comedies ever made, everyone but me gets the last laugh. But for the most part it felt like being at an office party where I didn't work or stuck at someone else's class reunion.

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