The laughs come alive as the Arkansas Literary Festival presents Mel Brooks’ comic masterpiece YOUNG FRANKENSTEIN tonight at the CALS Ron Robinson Theater.
This 1974 comic riff on Mary Shelley’s story, features Gene Wilder, Peter Boyle, Cloris Leachman, Marty Feldman, Teri Garr, and Madeline Kahn (along with a cameo by Gene Hackman).
An American grandson of the infamous scientist, struggling to prove that his grandfather was not as insane as people believe, is invited to Transylvania, where he discovers the process that reanimates a dead body.
The movie was nominated for two Oscars: Best Sound and Best Adapted Screenplay.
Not just one of the best sports movies ever made, but one of the best movies of any genre, Hoosiers is also a back to school movie. This 1986 opus embraces the cliches of the underdog sports team, Gene Hackman as a washed up lost soul, and Dennis Hopper as a drunk. Through all of the reasons this movie could be a failure, it is the exact opposite.
There is an elegant honesty and humility that runs throughout the movie. Hackman, Hopper and Barbara Hershey trust the script and the situation. This keeps what could be a hackneyed and melodramatic story from losing its honesty.
The actors playing the basketball players were hired more for their basketball ability. With similar haircuts, they sometimes become interchangeable. But instead of being a detriment, instead this becomes one of the assets of the film. The movie is about a team. While each player has his own story, the more important story is that of the team.
The sepia-tinged cinematography and languid pace of the movie also add to the period feeling. While it doesn’t look like a movie filmed in the 1950s (that would have been in Technicolor or black & white), it seems like it should be a movie filmed in the 1950s.
This movie never fails to induce goosebumps and misty eyes each time I watch it. I KNOW how it is going to end, and I still get caught up in it. When Gene Hackman measures the distance between the net and the floor to demystify the enormity of the championship arena, I am reminded of the importance of keeping things in perspective.