“C.S.O. to Screen Bride of Frankenstein (1935), Young Frankenstein (1974)” by S.M. O’Connor

In a double feature, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra Association will screen Bride of Frankenstein (1935) – the sequel to Frankenstein (1931) – and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra will play the score by Franz Waxman (1906-1967) and then screen Young Frankenstein (1974), the Mel Brooks send-up of, and homage to, Bride of Frankenstein (and, to a lesser extent, Frankenstein) on Friday, October 26, 2018.  Emil de Cou will be the conductor.  The event begins at 7:30 p.m.  To buy tickets, click here.  This event is partially supported by a grant from the Illinois Arts Council Agency.

Many film critics feel The Bride of Frankenstein is one of the rare sequels to be superior to the original film.  Carl Laemmele, Junior (1908-1979) produced both films at Universal StudiosJames Whale (1889-1957) directed both films.  Colin Clive (1900-1937) reprised the role of Dr. Henry Frankenstein (based on the novel character Victor Frankenstein). Boris Karloff (1887-1969) reprised the role of Frankenstein’s Monster.[1] Elsa Lanchester (1902-1986) played both Mary Shelley (1797-1851), the authoress of Frankenstein: or, The Modern Prometheus, published in 1818, in a prologue; and the Monster’s Bride. Ernest Thesiger (1879-1961) played Dr. Septimius Praetorius, an original character.[2]  The title had a double meaning as Dr. Praetorius lures Victor Frankenstein away from his bride, Elizabeth, who nursed him back to health after the events of the first film, to resume his work with The Monster and to create a bride for that monster.

Mel Brooks directed Young Frankenstein as a spoof of Bride and Frankenstein and co-wrote the script with Gene Wilder (1933-2016), who starred as Professor Frederick Frankenstein (who at the beginning of the film, ashamed of his ancestor Dr. Victor Frankenstein, insists on mispronouncing the surname “Frankenstein-steen”).  It is a 20th Century Fox film.  In a hilarious performance, Marty Feldman (1934-1982) played Igor.  Peter Boyle (1935-2006) played The Monster. Madeline Kahn (1942-1999) played Frederick Frankenstein’s fiancée, Elizabeth.  Terri Garr played Inga.  Cloris Leachman played Frau Blucher. Kenneth Mars (1935-2011) played Police Inspector Hans Wilhelm Kemp.  Richard Haydn (1905-1985) played Herr Falkstein.  Gene Hackman, a great dramatic actor, had an uproariously funny cameo as “Blindman.”  As a joke, a real Baron Frankenstein, Clement Georg Freiherr von und zu Franckenstein, had an un-credited role as one of the villagers.  John Morris (1926-2018) composed a suitable score.  Brooks, Wilder, Mars, and Morris had all previously worked together on The Producers (1967), another astoundingly funny film.  Like the classic Universal monster films, it is a black-and-white film.  To read Pulitzer Prize-winning Chicago Sun-Times movie critic Roger Ebert’s review of Young Frankenstein, click here.

Symphony Center is located on Michigan Avenue in downtown Chicago, across from The Art Institute of Chicago.  The address is 220 South Michigan Avenue, Chicago, Illinois 60604.

ENDNOTES

[1] For some reason, many monster film fans called Frankenstein’s Monster “Frankenstein.”

[2] It is he who gives the toast, “To a new world of gods and monsters!”  This line inspired the title for the James Whale biopic (biographical film) Gods and Monsters (1998), which starred Sir Ian McKellan as Whale.

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