Near the end of August, many were saddened to learn that film icon and comedy legend Gene Wilder had passed away at the age of 83. Though Wilder hadn’t worked much since the cancellation of his mid-90s sitcom Something Wilder, he remained a indelible figure in the annals of cinema, having appeared in some of the funniest films to ever grace a screen. Many of these movies were collaborations with equally legendary director Mel Brooks. Arguably their two greatest achievements as a filmmaking duo both saw release in 1974, the first being Blazing Saddles, and the second being Young Frankenstein.
It’s hard to imagine that most reading this haven’t already seen Young Frankenstein, despite its status as a now over 40-year-old film. Brooks himself considers it one of his finest works as a director, and it also earned the high honor of being selected for preservation by the U.S. Library of Congress’ National Film Registry back in 2003. To date, less than 700 films have been preserved by the registry for being “culturally, historically or aesthetically significant.”
For those who’ve somehow passed Young Frankenstein by, the plot is simple: Dr. Frederick Frankenstein (Wilder) — grandson of Mary Shelley’s legendary mad scientist — inherits the family estate in Transylvania, and before long begins to continue his grandfather’s work. Of course, with Brooks at the helm, and a hilarious supporting cast backing Wilder up, that not-so-complex premise leads to some of the most hilarious gags ever committed to film. Thankfully for those presently uneducated in the ways of Dr. Frankenstein (pronounced Fronkensteen), Fathom Events has announced that the classic horror comedy will return to theaters for one night only on October 5, 2016.
This theatrical re-release of Young Frankenstein continues the world’s collective mourning period for Wilder, who seemingly left a mark on popular culture in a way that perhaps not even he was fully aware of. AMC Theatres recently took it upon themselves to bring Blazing Saddles and Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory back to the big screen for a brief engagement, and one wonders if Young Frankenstein’s one-night event will be the last revival to board the Wilder nostalgia train. Young Frankenstein will be screening in 500 theaters around the U.S., and those interested can go here and enter their zip code to find the nearest participating location to them.
To make the event extra special, each screening of Young Frankenstein will be preceded by a live introduction from Brooks, in which the legendary director both reminiscences about his experiences working with Wilder and takes fans on a tour of the film’s shooting locations on the 20th Century Fox studio lot. Hopefully, this one night only return to theaters serves to convert even more moviegoers into Gene Wilder fans. The man himself may be gone, but his legacy of laughs will never be forgotten.
Young Frankenstein returns to theaters for one night only on October 5, 2016.
Source: AV Club