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The 50 Funniest Movies of All Time

27. Young Frankenstein (1974)

Director: Mel Brooks
Writer: Mel Brooks and Gene Wilder
Stars: Gene Wilder, Marty Feldman, Peter Boyle, Teri Garr, Madeline Kahn, Cloris Leachman, Kenneth Mars, Richard Haydn, Gene Hackman
Quotable: "Stand back, for the love of God! He's got a rotten brain!"
Fun Fact: Usually good for an on-screen appearance in his movies, Mel Brooks was advised by star Gene Wilder to not show up in Young Frankenstein.

If you've never seen Mel Brooks' Young Frankenstein, make that your homework assignment for this upcoming weekend. You don't even have to possess an awareness or affinity for Mary Shelley's seminal horror novel Frankenstein or director James Whale's pair of classic monster movies (Frankenstein, 1931, and Bride of Frankenstein, 1935) inspired by Shelley's book to appreciate it—the jokes work on every possible level.

Part of what makes Young Frankenstein so effective is its respectful attention paid to its genre's details. Take away the humor and you'd have a visually lush, meticulously designed homage to classic Universal horror movies, one that's spot-on right down to the elaborate laboratory set and nostalgic music cues. The fact that Brooks wonderfully balanced the reverential touches with some of his all-time sharpest comedy (from the cracks made about Igor to the "Puttin' on the Ritz" musical number) elevates Young Frankenstein to monumental heights.

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