Tuesday, October 17th, 2017

RIP Peter Boyle


Elizabeth: Oh my God. Woof.

Young Frankenstein is arguably the greatest comedy film of all time. Gene Wilder and Mel Brooks took the original horror films and transformed them into a movie which is viewable over and over again.

Students of film (or of any artistic endeavor) should particularly note a conversation Mel Brooks had with Gene Wilder while writing the screenplay. Brooks advised Wilder to take the screenplay and knock out of it anything that didn’t fit. Brooks argued repeatedly for cuts throughout the production, and even wanted to cut one of the most famous scenes in comedic cinema, arguing that it was just Wilder’s vanity putting the scene in.

Wilder won the argument, of course. He was probably helped by this bit of trivia:

When they started to film the “Puttin’ on the Ritz” scene, no one was sure what the Creature should say. The first time out of the gate, however, Boyle came up with a strangled version of “Puiinin da reeez!”

When the movie was cast, Wilder already knew who he wanted for the monster. Of course, it helped that Wilder, Boyle and Marty Feldman all had the same agent (who suggested to Wilder they all work together). In an interview for “Making FrankenSense of Young Frankenstein” Wilder revealed that it was Boyle’s invention to have The Monster chase butterflies when Frau Blucher played the violin. It was just one of the subtleties of Boyle’s that made the character fun and even sympathetic, even as we’re reminded frequently in the film of the violence the Monster was capable of.

Of course, the full range of the Monster is really visible in the scene with the Blind Man.

Rest in peace, Peter Boyle. He was 71.

Elizabeth: Oh. Where you going?… Oh, you men are all alike. Seven or eight quick ones and then you’re out with the boys to boast and brag. YOU BETTER KEEP YOUR MOUTH SHUT. Oh… I think I love him.

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