Young Frankenstein

Movie review by
Scott G. Mignola, Common Sense Media
Young Frankenstein Movie Poster Image
Brooks' corniness still yields plenty of belly laughs.
  • PG
  • 1974
  • 105 minutes
Parents recommendPopular with kids

Parents say

age 10+
Based on 16 reviews

Kids say

age 10+
Based on 23 reviews

We think this movie stands out for:

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Positive Messages

Characters learn and demonstrate compassion.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Too parodic and over-the-top for any real positive role models. Characters are stereotyped exaggerations.

Violence

Mostly over-the-top and comedic pratfall violence. Frankenstein accidentally stabs himself in the thigh with a scalpel. A man is choked to death by Frankenstein's monster. Frankenstein's monster forces himself on a woman who initially refuses his advances but consents to sex once she sees his penis. 

Sex

Bawdy humor and sexual innuendo. Frankenstein's monster forces what is at first nonconsensual sex on one of the female characters that becomes consensual when she presumably sees the size of his penis. References to "a roll in the hay," as well as "knockers." 

Language

Some profanity: "son of a bitch," "s--t," "bastard," "goddamn." A woman uses a German word that obviously translates to "penis." Sex jokes. Reference to a "roll in the hay." A joke based on the "bags" slang term for women. 

Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Cigar and cigarette smoking. Wine drinking at dinner. A police officer makes reference to taking a "nip from the old bottle."

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Young Frankenstein is a 1974 Mel Brooks movie that parodies the timeless monster story. Like all of Mel Brooks' movies, there is plenty of sexual innuendo here -- references to "a roll in the hay," "knockers," and the use of a German word that clearly means "penis." There is one scene in which Frankenstein's monster forces himself on Madeline Kahn's character in a way that could be interpreted as nonconsensual sex. However, it becomes consensual when she sees his penis and her pleasure is obvious when she starts to sing in an operatic voice. There is some profanity: "s--t," "bitch." There is also some comedic pratfall violence, as well as a scene in which a man is choked to death. 

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written bybeebizzy April 9, 2008

Very Surprised!

I know I saw this movie years ago when I was a teenager but I didn't recall this much sex being thrown around. I was looking forward to watching an old fu... Continue reading
Parent Written byKMM5 August 1, 2013

Better than ABC Family!

Ok.... so there is language, sex, and smoking..... BUT..... no more smoking than any old movie, the only language I remembe is GD and the S word (each just a fe... Continue reading
Teen, 14 years old Written byKaty0 September 18, 2009

Hilarious

"Young Frankenstein" is hilarious and a must-see for 12+.
Kid, 11 years old March 7, 2018

A great movie that is great for families

The movie can teach kids a lesson that if someone or something looks ugly, treat it right. The movie says many bad words, including "s**t", "son... Continue reading

What's the story?

After denouncing his grandfather's work as "doo doo," YOUNG FRANKENSTEIN, also known as Dr. Frederick Frankenstein (Gene Wilder), receives word that he's inherited his famous ancestor's Transylvanian castle. There, with the help of his lab assistant Inga (Teri Garr) and pop-eyed hunchback Igor (Marty Feldman), he discovers a secret library containing his grandfather Victor's notes on how to bring the dead to life. The temptation is too great to pass up. In the renowned Frankenstein laboratory, young Frederick creates his own monster (Peter Boyle) and harnesses the power of an electrical storm to bring him to life.

Is it any good?

The gags might be lame, and the script is almost infantile, but if you thought this film was funny in 1974, you're just as likely to get a kick out of it today. There's an unembarrassed corniness about Young Frankenstein that generates plenty of belly laughs. The monster's "Puttin' on the Ritz" number will even squeeze smiles out of those not inclined toward Brooks' brand of humor.

The vaguely smutty jokes and sight gags will go over well with the teen crowd, but the comic talents at work here will appeal to all ages. Marty Feldman, Teri Garr, Madeline Kahn, Cloris Leachman, and Gene Hackman comprise a comedy's dream cast. Peter Boyle brings an unexpected touch of dignity to the monster, and Gene Wilder is as charming and manic as he was in Willy Wonka and the Chocolate FactoryMel Brooks fans will rejoice at the re-release of one of his funniest films. 

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about parody: is Young Frankenstein seemingly patterned after old horror films? How does it differ? Beneath the obvious ridiculing of old horror films, do you detect any sort of fondness for the genre?

  • What are your thoughts on the scene in which Frankenstein's monster pins down Madeline Kahn's character and seemingly forces her to have sex with him? Would a scene like this be in a contemporary comedy?

  • What are some of the ways in which the humor of the movie has held up, and where does it seem dated? 

  • How do the characters in Young Frankenstein demonstrate compassion? Why is this an important character strength?

Movie details

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Themes & Topics

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