In Iowa, United States
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Dr. Frederick Frankenstein (Gene Wilder) is a physician lecturer at an American medical school and engaged to the tightly wound actress Elizabeth (Madeline Kahn). He becomes exasperated when anyone brings up the subject of his grandfather, the infamous mad scientist. To disassociate himself from his legacy, Frederick insists that his surname be pronounced "Fronk-en-steen."
When a solicitor informs him that he has inherited his family's estate in Transylvania after the death of his great grandfather, the Baron Beauvort von Frankenstein, Frederick travels to Europe to inspect the property. At the Transylvania train station, he is met by a hunchbacked, bulging-eyed servant named Igor, pronounced as "eye-gore" (Marty Feldman), and a lovely young personal assistant named Inga (Teri Garr). Upon arrival at the estate, Frederick meets the forbidding housekeeper Frau Blücher (Cloris Leachman), whose name, whenever mentioned, causes horses to rear up and neigh madly in fright. Though his family legacy has brought shame and ridicule, Frederick becomes increasingly intrigued about his grandfather's work, especially after Inga assists him in discovering the secret entrance to his grandfather's laboratory. Upon reading his grandfather's private journals, Frederick is so transformed that he decides to resume his grandfather's experiments in re-animating the dead. He and Igor resort to robbing the grave of a recently executed criminal, and Frederick sets to work experimenting on the large corpse. Matters go awry, however, when Igor is sent to steal the brain of a deceased revered scientist, Hans Delbruck; startled by lightning, he drops and ruins Delbruck's brain. Taking a second brain, Igor returns with a brain labeled "Do Not Use This Brain! Abnormal" (which he subsequently refers to as "A-b (Abby) Normal"), which Frederick unknowingly transplants into the corpse.
Soon, Frederick is ready to re-animate his creature (Peter Boyle), who is elevated on a platform to the roof of the laboratory during a lightning storm. Eventually, electrical charges bring the creature to life. The creature makes its first halting steps, but, frightened by Igor lighting a match, attacks Frederick and must be sedated. Upon being asked whose brain was obtained, Igor confesses that he supplied "Abby Normal's" (abnormal) brain, unknowingly creating the Monster.
The townspeople are uneasy at the possibility of Frederick continuing his grandfather's work. Most concerned is Inspector Kemp (Kenneth Mars), a police official who sports an eyepatch and monocle over the same eye, a creaky, disjointed wooden arm, and an accent so comically thick even his own countrymen cannot understand him. Kemp visits the doctor and subsequently demands assurance that he will not create another monster. Upon returning to the lab, Frederick discovers that Frau Blücher is setting the creature free. After she reveals the monster's love of violin music, and her own romantic relationship with Frederick's grandfather, the creature is enraged by sparks from a thrown switch, and escapes from the Frankenstein castle.
While roaming the countryside, the Monster has frustrating encounters with a young girl and a blind hermit (Gene Hackman); these scenes directly parody the original Frankenstein movies. Frederick recaptures the monster and locks the two of them in a room, where he calms the monster's homicidal tendencies with flattery and fully acknowledges his own heritage, shouting out emphatically, "My name is Frankenstein!" (This time, he uses the more common, Anglicized pronunciation.) Frederick offers the sight of "The Creature" following simple commands to a theater full of illustrious guests. The demonstration continues with Frederick and the monster launching into the musical number "Puttin' on the Ritz," complete with top hats and tails. Although the monster can only shout his song lines in painfully high-pitched monotones, he dances impressively with almost perfect timing. The routine ends disastrously, however, when a stage light explodes and frightens the monster, who becomes enraged, pushes Frederick, and charges into the audience, where he is captured and chained by police.
The monster escapes, then kidnaps and ravishes the not unwilling Elizabeth when she arrives unexpectedly for a visit. Elizabeth falls in love with the creature due to his inhuman stamina and his enormous penis (referred to as Schwanstuker or Schwanzstück — a Yiddish word from Schwanz, "tail," which also is German slang for "penis," and Stück, "piece").
The townspeople hunt for the monster. Desperate to get the creature back, Frederick plays the violin to lure his creation back to the castle. Just as the Kemp-led mob storms the laboratory, Frankenstein transfers some of his stabilizing intellect to the creature who, as a result, is able to reason with and placate the mob. The film ends happily, with Elizabeth married to the now erudite and sophisticated monster--with her hair styled identically to that of the female creature from The Bride Of Frankenstein, while Inga joyfully learns what her new husband Frederick got in return during the transfer procedure--the monster's Schwanzstück.
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Last Updated: on 10/27/2014 6:54:35 AM Pacific Daylight Time (1:54 PM GMT)
Coordinates are in the WGS84 datum