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).

The Producers

  • Directors: Susan Stroman
  • Producers: Mel Brooks
  • Writers: Mel Brooks, Thomas Meehan
  • Genres: Comedy, Musical
  • Actors: Nathan Lane, Matthew Broderick, Uma Thurman, Will Ferrell, Gary Beach, Roger Bart, Jon Lovitz

The flop musical “Funny Boy” (based on William Shakespeare’s Hamlet) opens – and closes (“Opening Night”). Afterward, Leo Bloom (Matthew Broderick) arrives at the office of the show’s washed up producer, Max Bialystock (Nathan Lane). Max has hired Leo Bloom as his accountant. While studying Max’s books, Leo inadvertently inspires Max to put on a show that is certain to fail at the box office and cleverly change their accounts leaving them with $2,000,000 to spend. At first, Leo refuses to participate. Max, who cannot change the books himself, attempts to coax Leo into the scheme (“We Can Do It”). Leo still refuses and returns to his old accounting firm, Whitehall & Marks.

After being chastised by Mr. Marks (Jon Lovitz), Leo fantasizes about being a Broadway producer (“I Wanna Be a Producer”). Leo quits his job and with Max, forms Bialystock & Bloom. Max and Leo search for “the worst play ever written” and discover Springtime for Hitler, written by an ex-Nazi named Franz Liebkind (Will Ferrell). They are coerced into performing Adolf Hitler’s favorite tune and obeying the sacred “Siegfried Oath” in order to gain Liebkind’s signature for Broadway rights to the musical (“Der Guten Tag Hop-Clop”). They solicit a flamboyant gay director, Roger De Bris (Gary Beach) (“the worst director in the world”), to direct and choreograph the play. De Bris initially refuses saying that the musical is far too dark and gritty and that Broadway needs to be more “gay” (“Keep It Gay”). Roger is talked into it, however, after being enticed by Max and Leo, who tell him that if he directs the play, he is certain to win a Tony. Then, Ulla (Uma Thurman), a beautiful Swedish woman, appears at their office for casting despite there being no auditions. Max insists on hiring her as their secretary and auditioning her (“When You’ve Got It, Flaunt It”).

As the show opens, the audience is horrified and begins to walk out until Roger steps on stage as Hitler. Because his performance is so flamboyant, the audience sees the play as a mockery of Hitler rather than Franz’s original vision (“Springtime for Hitler”). As a result, the show is a success and the IRS will be keeping tabs on Max and Leo. After the show, an angry Franz starts trying to shoot the producers for, despite his show being a hit, making a fool out of Hitler. However, the police arrest him after hearing the shots, but not before breaking his other leg while trying to escape. Max, too, gets arrested for his tax fraud, while Leo and Ulla escape to Rio (“Betrayed”), but they return to stand up for Max in court (“‘Til Him”). The judge sentences them both to five years at Sing Sing, but they and Franz are pardoned after writing a musical in prison (“Prisoners of Love”), and go on to become successful Broadway producers.

The Elephant Man

  • Directors: David Lynch
  • Producers: Jonathan Sanger, Stuart Cornfeld, Mel Brooks
  • Writers: Screenplay, Christopher De Vore, Eric Bergren, David Lynch, Books, Sir Frederick Treves, Ashley Montagu
  • Genres: Biography, Drama, History
  • Actors: Anthony Hopkins, John Hurt, Anne Bancroft, John Gielgud, Wendy Hiller

Frederick Treves (Anthony Hopkins), a surgeon at the London Hospital, discovers John Merrick (John Hurt) in a Victorian freak show in London’s East End, where he is managed by the brutish Bytes (Freddie Jones). Merrick is so deformed that he must wear a hood and cape when in public. Bytes further claims that his “exhibit” is an imbecile. Treves is professionally intrigued by Merrick’s condition and pays Bytes to bring him to the London Hospital so that he can examine him. He then presents a lecture to his colleagues on Merrick’s disability, dispassionately displaying him as a prize physiological curiosity. Treves draws attention to the oversized deformities of Merrick’s skull; it is his most obvious disability and (as he was so informed by Bytes) also the most life-threatening, as he is compelled to sleep sitting with his head resting upon his knees, as the weight of his skull would asphyxiate him if he were to ever lie down. On Merrick’s return, Bytes beats him so severely that a sympathetic apprentice (Dexter Fletcher) alerts Treves, who attempts to take him back to the hospital. Bytes confronts Treves, accusing him of likewise exploiting Merrick for his own ends, which leads the surgeon to resolve to do what he can to help the unfortunate man.

As the shocked mob backs away, he collapses from illness and exhaustion. Treves, consumed with guilt over Merrick’s plight, takes action against the night porter with the help of Mrs. Mothershead. When the police return Merrick to the hospital, he is reinstated to his rooms. He recovers a little but it is soon clear he is dying from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. As a treat, Mrs. Kemble arranges an evening at the musical theatre, where Merrick is accompanied by his beloved friends: Treves, Mrs Mothershead, Nurse Nora, and HRH The Princess Of Wales. Resplendent in white tie, he rises in the Royal Box to an ovation, having had the performance dedicated to him from Mrs Kemble. That night, back at the hospital, Merrick thanks Treves for all he has done and finishes his model of the nearby church. Imitating one of his sketches on the wall — a sleeping child — he removes the pillows that have allowed him to sleep in an upright position, lies down on his bed and dies, consoled by a vision of his mother.

Get Smart

  • Directors: Peter Segal
  • Producers: Alex Gartner, Charles Roven, Andrew Lazar, Michael Ewing
  • Writers: Screenplay, Tom J Astle, Matt Ember, Characters, Mel Brooks, Buck Henry
  • Genres: Action, Adventure, Comedy, Crime, Mystery, Thriller
  • Actors: Steve Carell, Anne Hathaway, Dwayne Johnson, Alan Arkin, Terence Stamp, James Caan, Ken Davitian

Maxwell Smart, an analyst for the top secret American intelligence agency CONTROL, yearns to become a field agent like his friend Agent 23 whom he idolizes. Despite scoring extremely well in the acceptance tests, Max is denied the promotion as the Chief of CONTROL feels that Max’s analytical skills are too valuable in his present assignment. This changes when CONTROL headquarters is attacked by its arch-enemy, the terrorist organization KAOS, led by a man known only as Siegfried. As a result, almost all of CONTROL’s agents’ identities are exposed, leaving only Max and Agent 99, whose recent plastic surgery has protected her identity, to pursue the culprits whilst former field operatives such as 23 are demoted to desk jobs. Max is promoted to field agent status with the codename Agent 86, but the experienced 99, viewing the naive and bumbling but overwhelmingly enthusiastic Max as an irritating encumbrance, is reluctant to partner with him.

After a series of mishaps while travelling on a commercial airliner, Max and 99 infiltrate Russia by parachute, hoping to trace KAOS’ recent acquisition of nuclear materials through its chief bombmaker, Krstic. Along the way, they are attacked by Dalip, a formidable henchman of Siegfried’s. Infiltrating a luxurious party hosted by Krstic, they trace the nuclear material (specifically Yellowcake uranium) to a KAOS nuclear weapons factory disguised as a Moscow bakery, but Max is forced to shoot Krstic when he and his men corner them. Infiltrating the bakery, Max meets with Siegfried and his second-in-command, Shtarker, only to learn that Siegfried was expecting him; a double agent has compromised his and 99’s identities. Max manages to escape capture and seal the weapons factory with explosives. During their escape, Max and 99 are confronted by Dalip; realizing that he knows Dalip through hours of listening to him on spy ‘chatter’, Max manages to persuade Dalip to spare their lives by giving him advice on how to repair his failing marriage. The Chief sends 23 to observe the clean-up of the factory, but KAOS manages to sneak the weapons out through the Moskva River, leaving 23 to report that only a bakery has been destroyed. Realizing that Max was alone during his key discoveries, CONTROL believe Max to be the double-agent; 99, who has been gradually falling in love with Max through their shared experiences, is heartbroken but takes Max into custody.

Subsequently, CONTROL becomes a laughing stock in the intelligence community, and their advice is disregarded when Siegfried transmits a threat to the United States government; pay him $200 billion or he will release the missile codes to rogue states. Whilst Max is in a CONTROL holding cell, Dalip sends him a coded message via the radio show American Top 40 revealing Siegfried’s plan; as a ‘demonstration’ he intends to detonate a nuclear device during the President’s visit to a concert performed at the Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles. Max escapes from CONTROL and flies to Los Angeles to unite with the Chief, 99, and 23, who have flown out to persuade the President to take the KAOS threat seriously. Although 23 is skeptical, Max manages to convince 99 and the Chief that he is not the double agent. As KAOS plants the nuclear bomb in the concert hall, Max discovers trace amounts of radioactivity on Agent 23, exposing that he was lying about the bakery; revealed as the double agent, 23 takes 99 hostage and flees, forcing Max and the Chief to give pursuit. Managing to infiltrate 23’s car, Max rescues 99 and confronts 23, but in the struggle the car is set on fire and forced onto railroad tracks; 23 is killed when the car collides with a freight train. Realizing that the bomb will explode with the final notes of Beethoven’s “Ode to Joy”, Max, 99, and the Chief manage to reach the concert hall and tackle the conductor with seconds to spare, preventing the bomb from going off. During their escape, Siegfried insults Dalip once too often, previously threatening to kill his wife if he failed. Even though he has no intentions of killing her, he openly states that he would be “doing the sighted world a favor” if he did so. Finally having had enough, Dalip throws Siegfried out of their car over the side of a bridge in response. Max is hailed by the President as a hero, and walks off the stage heroically, with no one mentioning that there is a huge hole in his pants exposing his bare bottom, because it would ruin his moment. As CONTROL celebrates their success, he and 99 begin dating.

Robots

  • Directors: Chris Wedge, Carlos Saldanha
  • Producers: Bill Joyce, Christopher Meledandri, John C Donkin, Jerry Davis
  • Writers: Ron Mita, Jim McClain, David Lindsay Abaire, Lowell Ganz, Babaloo Mandel
  • Genres: Animation, Adventure, Comedy, Family, Sci-Fi
  • Actors: Ewan McGregor, Robin Williams, Halle Berry, Mel Brooks, Stanley Tucci, Dianne Wiest, Drew Carey, Amanda Bynes, Harland Williams, Greg Kinnear, Paul Giamatti, Jim Broadbent, Jennifer Coolidge

In the beginning of the movie, Herb Copperbottom races through the streets because he is elated that he is going to be a father. He and his wife, Lydia Copperbottom, after 12 hours of “labor”, finally manage to construct the baby. His name is Rodney Copperbottom, who becomes a young inventor who dreams of making the world a better place for everyone. Rodney idolizes Bigweld, the master inventor and owner of Bigweld Industries. Rodney has invented a gadget that will help his father clean the dishes at the restaurant. Rodney takes his invention to Robot City to see Bigweld and get a job as an inventor at his company. Instead, Rodney gets to see Ratchet, the new head of the company. Ratchet sees to it that Rodney is removed from the premises. Cappy, a beautiful robot-executive of the company takes an interest in Rodney, and wants to help him. In the slums of Robot City, some old robots known as the Rusties, led by a robot named Fender, befriend Rodney. Ratchet believes the company can make a bigger profit if it stops making spare parts for older robots. Non-working robots are picked up and sent to and melted down by Ratchet’s mother, queen of the ‘Chop-shop’. Rodney, who remembers Bigweld’s ‘See a need, fill a need’, begins fixing old robots. When Ratchet’s mother orders him to stop Rodney, the fireworks begin.

Blazing Saddles

  • Directors: Mel Brooks
  • Producers: Michael Hertzberg
  • Writers: Story, Andrew Bergman, Screenplay, Mel Brooks, Norman Steinberg, Andrew Bergman, Richard Pryor, Al Uger
  • Genres: Comedy, Western
  • Actors: Cleavon Little, Gene Wilder, Harvey Korman, Slim Pickens, Madeline Kahn

In the American Old West of 1874, construction on a new railroad runs into quicksand. The route has to be changed, which will require it to go through Rock Ridge, a frontier town where everyone has the last name of “Johnson” (including a “Howard Johnson”, a “Van Johnson” and an “Olson Johnson”.) The conniving State Attorney General Hedley Lamarr (Harvey Korman) – not to be confused, as he often is in the film, with actress Hedy Lamarr – wants to buy the land along the new railroad route cheaply by driving the townspeople out. He sends a gang of thugs, led by his flunky Taggart (Slim Pickens), to scare them away, prompting the townsfolk to demand that Governor William J. LePetomane (Mel Brooks) appoint a new sheriff. The Attorney General convinces the dim-witted Governor to select Bart (Cleavon Little), a black railroad worker who was about to be hanged, as the new sheriff. Because Bart is black, Lamarr believes that this will so offend the townspeople they will either abandon the town or lynch the new sheriff.

With his quick wits and the assistance of drunken gunslinger Jim (Gene Wilder), also known as “The Waco Kid” (“I must have killed more men than Cecil B. DeMille”), Bart works to overcome the townsfolk’s hostile reception. He defeats and befriends Mongo (Alex Karras), an immensely strong (but exceptionally dim-witted) henchman sent by Taggart, and beats German seductress-for-hire Lili von Shtupp (Madeline Kahn) at her own game, before inspiring the town to lure Lamarr’s newly-recruited and incredibly diverse army of thugs (characterized by Lamarr as ideally consisting of “rustlers, cutthroats, murderers, bounty hunters, desperadoes, mugs, pugs, thugs, nitwits, half-wits, dimwits, vipers, snipers, con men, Indian agents, Mexican bandits, muggers, buggerers, bushwhackers, hornswagglers, horse thieves, bull dykes, train robbers, bank robbers, ass kickers, shit kickers and Methodists” in addition to nearly every other kind of stock movie villain) into an ambush. (In the later scene where Lamarr conducts his hiring event, the candidates in line for consideration include stereotypical bikers, banditos, crusaders, Nazis and Klansmen).

The film ends with Bart shooting Hedley Lamarr in the groin at the ‘premiere’ of Blazing Saddles outside Grauman’s Chinese Theater, saving the town, joining Jim inside a theater to view the end of the movie, persuading people of all colors and creeds to live in harmony and, finally, riding (in a limousine) off into the sunset.

Robots

  • Directors: Chris Wedge, Carlos Saldanha
  • Producers: Bill Joyce, Christopher Meledandri, John C Donkin, Jerry Davis
  • Writers: Ron Mita, Jim McClain, David Lindsay Abaire, Lowell Ganz, Babaloo Mandel
  • Genres: Animation, Adventure, Comedy, Family, Sci-Fi
  • Actors: Ewan McGregor, Robin Williams, Halle Berry, Mel Brooks, Stanley Tucci, Dianne Wiest, Drew Carey, Amanda Bynes, Harland Williams, Greg Kinnear, Paul Giamatti, Jim Broadbent, Jennifer Coolidge

In the beginning of the movie, Herb Copperbottom races through the streets because he is elated that he is going to be a father. He and his wife, Lydia Copperbottom, after 12 hours of “labor”, finally manage to construct the baby. His name is Rodney Copperbottom, who becomes a young inventor who dreams of making the world a better place for everyone. Rodney idolizes Bigweld, the master inventor and owner of Bigweld Industries. Rodney has invented a gadget that will help his father clean the dishes at the restaurant. Rodney takes his invention to Robot City to see Bigweld and get a job as an inventor at his company. Instead, Rodney gets to see Ratchet, the new head of the company. Ratchet sees to it that Rodney is removed from the premises. Cappy, a beautiful robot-executive of the company takes an interest in Rodney, and wants to help him. In the slums of Robot City, some old robots known as the Rusties, led by a robot named Fender, befriend Rodney. Ratchet believes the company can make a bigger profit if it stops making spare parts for older robots. Non-working robots are picked up and sent to and melted down by Ratchet’s mother, queen of the ‘Chop-shop’. Rodney, who remembers Bigweld’s ‘See a need, fill a need’, begins fixing old robots. When Ratchet’s mother orders him to stop Rodney, the fireworks begin.