It’s three films in three days this weekend at the Victoria Theatre – each one a classic from parody master Mel Brooks as the Michelob Ultra Cool Films Series continues.
Young Frankenstein, Blazing Saddles, and The Producers will play Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, respectively.
Choosing just three Brooks’ films must have been difficult. He has been responsible for some of the best and smartest comedies of the past forty years: Silent Movie, History of the World Part I, Spaceballs, and Robin Hood: Men in Tights as well as the three being showcased at the Victoria.
Young Frankenstein stars Gene Wilder (who also co-wrote the film with Brooks) as Dr. Frederick Frankenstein – that’s “Fronk-en-steen”, who has spent his entire life attempting to disassociate himself from his grandfather, Victor. However, after inheriting the family estate in Transylvania, Frederick is soon on a quest to reanimate his own creature.
With the help of Igor (Marty Feldman) and Inga (Teri Garr), Frederick succeeds, but with unexpected results. Peter Boyle brings the creation to life as more of a child discovering the world than a monster, albeit with the same amount of havoc. Look for Gene Hackman in a hilarious cameo as a blind man the creature encounters.
Blazing Saddles follows on Saturday night. Every western convention is turned on its ear as Sherriff Bart (Cleavon Little) partners with The Waco Kid (Wilder again) to battle politicians and railroad barons and save a small frontier town.
The villains are many and memorable: Harvey Korman as Hedley Lamarr, a crooked attorney general, Slim Pickens as his right hand thug, and Mel Brooks as the governor forced to do their bidding.
The Producers, Brooks’ first film as a director, closes the weekend. It tells the story of Max Bialystock (Zero Mostel), a Broadway producer who conspires with accountant Leo Bloom (Wilder for the third time) to oversell a play that will bomb and close after the first show.
In theory, the scheme will allow them to avoid an audit and flee the country with the profits, but mayhem ensues on the stage and off as they prepare to bring Springtime for Hitler to the masses…for one night.
Brooks won his only Oscar, for Best Original Screenplay, for this film. It was later adapted by Brooks into a hit Broadway musical in 2001. A film version of the musical was released in 2005.
Mel Brooks’ films have kept generations of audiences laughing. He’s achieved success on film, the stage, television – he is one of only ten artists to win an Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, and a Tony. Take advantage of the opportunity to see at least one of his films on the big screen, whether it be for the first of the fiftieth time.
For more information and showtimes, visit the Victoria Theatre website.