Young Frankenstein: A Mel Brooks Book

  • by Mel Brooks, Judd Apatow - foreword
  • Narrated by Mel Brooks, Michael Gruskoff, Robert Petkoff, Ellen Archer
  • 1 hrs and 54 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Mel Brooks' own words telling all about the players, the filming, and studio antics during the production of this great comedy classic. The book is alive and teeming with original interviews and hilarious commentary.
Young Frankenstein was made with deep respect for the craft and history of cinema - and for the power of a good schwanzstucker joke. This book, written by one of the greatest comedy geniuses of all time, takes listeners inside the classic film's marvelous creation story via contemporary interviews with the cast and crew, most notably legendary writer-director Mel Brooks. This book also relies on interviews with gifted director of photography Gerald Hirschfeld, Academy Award-winning actress Cloris Leachman, and veteran producer Michael Gruskoff.
Mel Brooks is an American film director, screenwriter, comedian, actor, producer, composer, and songwriter. Brooks is best known as a creator of broad film farces and comic parodies including The Producers, The Twelve Chairs, Blazing Saddles, Young Frankenstein, Silent Movie, High Anxiety, History of the World, Part I, Spaceballs, and Robin Hood: Men in Tights. More recently he had a smash hit on Broadway with the musical adaptation of his first film, The Producers. An EGOT winner, he received a Kennedy Center Honor in 2009, the 41st AFI Life Achievement Award in June 2013, and a British Film Institute Fellowship in March 2015. Three of Brooks' classics have appeared on AFI's 100 Years...100 Laughs list: Blazing Saddles at number six, The Producers at number 11, and Young Frankenstein at number 13.
Judd Apatow is one of the most important comic minds of his generation. He wrote and directed the films The 40-Year-Old Virgin (cowritten with Steve Carell), Knocked Up, Funny People, and This Is 40, and his producing credits include Superbad, Bridesmaids, and Anchorman. Apatow is the executive producer of HBO's Girls.


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

too short

Awfully fun book, but it ends too soon. The making of the Princess Bride movie book was much better.
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- Amazon Customer

Wish I Could Have Been There

We smiled, laughed, giggled, and even guffawed. This little gem is short, but it contains some great insights and behind the scenes info that lets you feel like you're in on the jokes -- "Werewolf!" "Where wolf?" "There, wolf." "Werewolf." I remember sitting in the theater when this movie was released and laughing until my drink spurted out my nose. The jokes weren't elaborate, or particularly clever, but the delivery? Dead on. Brooks and Wilder stayed true to the original concept and gave us a movie that dares you not to laugh.

A few people and cast members tell their favorite lines from the movie and I agreed with each one, until the next one told their favorite line. (Not all of the voices are the actual person since many of those involved have died.) I loved hearing Brooks voice narrate. Just his voice cracks me up. The camaraderie between the cast, as shared by a few of the people involved with the filming, shined through on the screen. Brooks tells how behind the scenes, the respect each actor, writer, etc, had for each other infused the entire cast and added that rare esprit de corps you feel when watching this movie -- which we immediately did. I swear I thought I saw the camera jiggle a few times...and thought of the stage hands shoving the handkerchiefs Brooks bought them in their mouths so the laughter wouldn't come through onto the soundtrack.

It's not EXTREMELY insightful -- it's only a little under 2 hrs. It's like sitting at lunch with Brooks and having him share the experience of working with these gifted comedians. It's dessert. Madeline Kahn is straight-faced and hilarious (I miss her and laugh every time I think of her singing, "Yes, no no no no no no; Yes no no no no no no" in History of the World Part I). There's some funny bits on Marty Feldman's Igor with that hump and Cloris Leachman's Frau Bl├╝cher (*horse whinny*), one of her scenes with gene Wilder had to be shot 14 times because he kept busting up. It's a great fun blooper reel of a listen.

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- Mel

Book Details

  • Release Date: 10-18-2016
  • Publisher: Hachette Audio