Young Frankenstein

  • Directors: Mel Brooks
  • Producers: Michael Gruskoff
  • Writers: Mel Brooks, Gene Wilder
  • Genres: Comedy, Sci-Fi
  • Actors: Gene Wilder, Peter Boyle, Marty Feldman, Teri Garr, Madeline Kahn, Cloris Leachman, Kenneth Mars, and Gene Hackman

Dr. Frederick Frankenstein (Gene Wilder) is a respected lecturer at an American medical school and is more or less happily (though blandly) engaged to the tightly wound Elizabeth (Madeline Kahn). Frederick becomes exasperated when anyone brings up the subject of his grandfather, the famous mad scientist, to the point of insisting that his name is pronounced “Fronk’-en-steen”.

A solicitor informs Frederick that he has inherited his family’s estate. Traveling to said estate in Transylvania, Frankenstein meets his comely new lab assistant Inga (Teri Garr), along with the household servants Frau Blücher (Cloris Leachman) and Igor (Marty Feldman) (who, after hearing Frederick claim his name is pronounced “Fronkensteen” counter-claims that his is pronounced “Eye’-gor.”)

Inga assists Frederick in discovering the secret entrance to his grandfather’s laboratory. Upon reading his grandfather’s private journals the doctor is inspired to resume his grandfather’s experiments in re-animating the dead. He and Igor successfully exhume and spirit away the enormous corpse of a recently executed criminal, but Igor’s attempt to steal the brain of a revered scientist from the local “brain depositary” goes awry, and he takes one labeled, “Do Not Use This Brain! Abnormal” instead.

The reassembled monster (Peter Boyle) is elevated on a platform to the roof of the laboratory during a lightning storm. The experimenters are first disappointed when the electrically charged creature fails to come to life, but the creature eventually revives. The doctor assists the monster in walking but, frightened by Igor lighting a match, it attacks Frederick and must be sedated. Upon being asked by the doctor whose brain was obtained, Igor confesses that he supplied “Abby Normal’s” brain and becomes the object of a strangulation attempt himself.

The townspeople, led by Inspector Kemp, hunt for the Monster. Desperate to get the creature back and correct his mistakes, Frederick plays music and lures the Monster back to the castle. Just as the Kemp-led mob storms the laboratory, Dr. Frankenstein transfers some of his stabilizing intellect to the creature who, as a result, is able to reason with and placate the mob. The film ends happily, with Elizabeth married to the now erudite and sophisticated Monster, while Inga joyfully learns what her new husband Frederick got in return from the Monster during the transfer procedure (the Monster’s Schwanzstück).

Kiss Me Deadly

  • Directors: Robert Aldrich
  • Producers: Robert Aldrich
  • Writers: Story, Mickey Spillane, Screenplay, A I Bezzerides
  • Genres: Crime, Drama, Film-Noir, Thriller
  • Actors: Ralph Meeker, Albert Dekker, Paul Stewart, Cloris Leachman

Ralph Meeker plays Mike Hammer, a tough Los Angeles private eye who is almost as brutal and corrupt as the crooks he chases. Mike, and his assistant/secretary/lover, Velda(Maxine Cooper), usually work on “penny-ante divorce cases”.

One evening on a lonely country road, Hammer gives a ride to Christina (Cloris Leachman), an attractive hitchhiker wearing nothing but a trench coat. She has escaped from a nearby mental institution. Thugs waylay them and force his car to crash. Hammer regains consciousness in some unknown location where he hears Christina screaming and being tortured to death. Hammer next awakens in a hospital with Velda by his bedside. He decides to pursue the case, both for vengeance and because, “She (Christina) must be connected with something big” behind it all.

The twisting plot takes Hammer to the apartment of Lily Carver (Gaby Rodgers), a sexy, waif-like blond who is posing as Christina’s ex-room mate. Lily tells Hammer she has gone into hiding and asks Hammer to protect her. It turns out that she is after a mysterious box that, she believes, has contents worth a fortune.

“The great whatsit”, as Velda calls it, at the center of Hammer’s quest is a small, mysterious valise that is hot to the touch and contains a dangerous, shining substance. It comes to represent the 1950s Cold War fear and nuclear paranoia about the atomic bomb that permeated American culture.

The original American release of the film shows Hammer and Velda escaping from the burning house at the end, running into the ocean as the words “The End” come over them on the screen. Sometime after its first release, the ending was crudely altered on the film’s original negative, removing over a minute’s worth of shots where Hammer and Velda escape and superimposing the words “The End” over the burning house. This implied that Hammer and Velda perished in the atomic blaze, and was often interpreted to represent the apocalypse. In 1997, the original conclusion was restored. The DVD release has the correct original ending, and offers the now-discredited truncated ending as an extra. The movie is described as “the definitive, apocalyptic, nihilistic, science-fiction film noir of all time – at the close of the classic noir period.”[2]

The Longest Yard

  • Directors: Peter Segal
  • Producers: Heather Parry
  • Writers: Albert S Ruddy, Sheldon Turner
  • Genres: Comedy, Drama, Sport
  • Actors: Adam Sandler, Chris Rock, James Cromwell, Nelly, William Fichtner, David Patrick Kelly, Tracy Morgan, Cloris Leachman, and Burt Reynolds, Courteney Cox, Michael Irvin, Bill Romanowski, Brian Bosworth, Terry Crews, Nicholas Turturro, Bill Goldberg, Kevin Nash, Stone Cold Steve Austin, Bob Sapp, Steve Reevis, Lobo Sebastian, Dalip The Great Khali Singh Rana

The film starts with Paul Crewe (Adam Sandler), an ex-NFL player disgraced for shaving points in a big game, getting in an argument with his rich girlfriend Lena (Courteney Cox) regarding his failure. He locks her in a closet, gets drunk, and goes joy riding in her Bentley Continental GT throughout San Diego. After getting the car completely destroyed and disabling several police cruisers in the process, he gets arrested. He is found guilty of grand theft auto and is sentenced to three years in Allenville Penitentiary in Texas, as it was arranged by the prison’s warden Hazen (James Cromwell).

In prison, the warden asks Paul to help with the prison guards’ football team. After being roughed up a bit, Paul (under threat of an extra 5 years for blocking a guard’s baton) decides to help him. He informs the warden that what his team needs is a tune-up game: a game where they play a team and “kick the living shit out of ’em, and get their spirits up”. This gives the warden an idea: Paul, with the help of fellow immate Caretaker (Rock), will make a team out of the inmates for them to play as their tune-up game. He starts off with a poorly organized team before being noticed by another prisoner, former football player Nate Scarborough (Reynolds), and decides to help him by coaching the team.

As the warden watches them leave, Moss and Battle pour a cooler of Gatorade on Hazen in a mockery of a typical football game celebration. The Warden angrily shouts that they’ll receive a week in the hotbox. Battle yells back “who gives a shit?”