Additional images — a further collection of unit photography and stills from the set of this classic comedy masterpiece.
Igor (played by Marty Feldman) is “freshly dead” in Young Frankenstein.
Photos courtesy of 20th Century Fox Unit photography by John Monte
The 1974 comedy
Young Frankenstein was meant to be a satire of the classic Universal monster movies of the 1930s — of the original Frankenstein in particular — but during the near 50 years since its release, the film has become a classic in its own right.
Directed by Mel Brooks, the film stars comedy legends Teri Garr, Cloris Leachman, Madeline Kahn, Kenneth Mars, Peter Boyle, Marty Feldman and the incomparable Gene Wilder.
In the July 1974 issue of
AC, cinematographer Gerald Hirschfeld, ASC wrote a detailed article describing the process of revisiting the 1930’s Transylvania as seen in the Universal films, and we were provided with a plethora of artwork for the film that was still months from its December release.
Below we’ve included some of this additional artwork, which was just too abundant to all fit in with the primary article, which is now also available to read here:
The Story Behind the Filming of Young Frankenstein .
This sequence was created on stage. The kites, used to harness lightning for Dr. Frankenstein’s experiment, were blown by huge fans and guided to the studio grids by invisible piano wire. In the foreground is Igor (Marty Feldman), the good doctor's assistant.
Half hidden by the shower of flame and sparks, the Monster (Peter Boyle), center, climaxes an emotional moment of the story by inadvertently hitting a switch with his flailing arms, almost destroying the old laboratory.
Little Heidi goes sailing through the air into her second-story bedroom window. She was "flown" by wires which had to be concealed by means of careful lighting.
An example of the extremes to which Hirschfeld had to go in order to properly light the Monster, without having the special lighting spill over onto the other actors. Here the key grip ties a small gobo to the already cluttered lamp.
Another of makeup artist William Tuttle's creations. Here is the mummified remains of Beaufort Frankenstein. It was Beaufort's will that left the old laboratory and book of instructions entitled “How I Did It” to the new young Dr. Frankenstein.
Jack Monroe and Henry Millar, Jr., from the special effects team, put some finishing touches on the remains of Beaufort Frankenstein with a blow torch. The will, leaving the estate to the new Dr. Frankenstein is in the metal box which will be placed in the skeletal hands of the corpse.
Brooks looks through the viewfinder at the ghoulish remains of the ancient deceased Frankenstein, while Hirschfeld (far right) awaits approval of the camera angle. Although the film is all in fun, from the audience standpoint, it represented an enormous technical challenge to the camera, sound, makeup, and special effects personnel.
Protection for both the camera and the camera crew, is afforded by this plastic rain housing which is attached to the camera gear head so that it will pan and tilt with the camera. It is very light in weight so as not to interfere with the camera operation. This is an opening scene in the Frankenstein Castle courtyard recreated at 20th Century-Fox Studios.
Dr. Frankenstein gives a last-minute check to his “creation,” before being hoisted through the roof of his laboratory by his able assistants, Inga and Igor. Some of this awesome array of lab equipment was used in the original Frankenstein film made by Universal in 1931.
Hirschfeld sets the comedic scene between Peter Boyle and Gene Hackman, playing a blind hermit.
Brooks with Cloris Leachman, Teri Garr, and, in the back, Marty Feldman.