A classic scene from the 1974 comedy Young Frankenstein.
Setup: Dr. Frankenstein’s grandson, after years of living down the family reputation, inherits granddad’s castle and repeats the experiments.
109 ANOTHER ANGLE as A SPOTLIGHT hits the darkness next to him. And there -- IN TOP HAT AND TAILS -- stands the Monster. he is heavily made up. FREDDY (playing the piano and singing) If you're blue and you don't know where to go to, why don't you... The Monster accompanies the music with short, simple "Soft Shoe" steps. FREDDY ...go where fashion sits......................... MONSTER Poo -- tmmm anngh ma Ritz! FREDDY Diff'rent types who wear a day coat, pants with stripes and cutaway coat, perfect fits......................... MONSTER Poo -- tmmm anngh ma Ritz! FREDDY Dressed up like a million dollar trouper Trying hard to look like Gary Cooper. MONSTER Soo -- pah doo -- per. The Audience's faces are absolutely blank. Inga and Igor are thrilled. FREDDY Come let's mix where Rock- e -- fellers walk with sticks or 'um-ber- el-las' in their mitts......................... MONSTER Poo -- tmmm anngh ma Ritz! The Monster gets a tomato right in the face. He stops cold. FREDDY Dressed up like a million dollar trouper Trying hard to look like Gary Coo -- per. An EMBARRASSING PAUSE. FREDDY (to the Monster) That's your cue. Go on! MONSTER MMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMmmmmm. FREDDY (trying to cover) ...Su-per du-per. Come let's mix where Rock- e-fellers walk with sticks or 'um-ber- el-las' in their mitts......................... The Monster knows it's his cue: he just looks at Freddy. MONSTER MMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMmmmmmmmmmmm! FREDDY For God's sake -- go on! Are you trying to make me look like a fool. Sing, you amateur! Sing!! The Monster gets a raw egg in his face. AUDIENCE Booooo! Get him off! Fake! What else can your toy do? FREDDY Fake?? You stupid idiots...you call my creation a fake??? What do you know about truth? You're the fakes! All of you! I wouldn't come to you with a hang-nail. The monster gets another tomato in his face. MONSTER MMMMMMMMMM! MMMMMMMMMMMM! FREDDY (running to him) Wait! Stop! Don't give them the satisfaction. I know it's tough, but look at how far we've come! Are you going to throw it all away now?? The Monster thinks, as the tomato drips down his face. He is touched by Freddy's reasoning, but still burning with resentment. MONSTER MMMmmmmmm. FREDDY Don't you think I know that? But what are you judging by? Bucharest??? This was always a hick town. They can't get a 'Bus and Truck' company to come in here. Are you going to let these idiots get the best of you? ...Or are you going to stand up like a man and show them that you've got more dignity in your little finger than they've got in all their beer- bloated bodies put together? The Monster considers this plea for a moment. Then gives Freddy a colossal W H A C K and jumps into the Audience. 110 THE AUDIENCE screams and scatters for the exits. PANDEMONIUM. FREDDY (as he picks himself up off the stage floor) I chose the wrong song.
Here is the scene from the movie:
The original cut of the movie was almost twice as long as the final cut, and it was considered by all involved to be an abysmal failure. It was only after a marathon cutting session that they produced the final cut of the film, which both Gene Wilder and Mel Brooks considered to be far superior to the original product. At one point they noted that for every joke that worked, there were three that fell flat. So they went in and trimmed all the jokes that didn’t work.
Fortunately “Puttin’ on the Ritz” stuck. Easy to see why, such a brilliant comedic moment.
Any fans of Young Frankenstein? See you in comments.
One of the single best things you can do to learn the craft of screenwriting is to read the script while watching the movie. After all a screenplay is a blueprint to make a movie and it’s that magic of what happens between printed page and final print that can inform how you approach writing scenes. That is the purpose of Script to Screen, a weekly series on GITS where we analyze a memorable movie scene and the script pages that inspired it.