silver lining was Mel Brooks' "Young Frankenstein,"
starring Gene Wilder, Marty Feldman
and Peter Boyle as the bald Monster. While standing on the front sand
lot of Deerfield Beach Middle School, my old pal Mark
and I would recite "Young Frankenstein"
dialog as if it were Holy Scripture.
Filmed in black & white, "Young Frankenstein"
spoofed the original Boris Karloff monster movies with
affection. Brooks commissioned the Kenneth
Strickfaden Machinery that was used in the original
motion pictures. Each iconic scene is lovingly
recreated, with a slight deviation that provokes a
comic response. The scene between the monster and the
hermit is a stand out. Whereas the original scene
was very touching because of Karloff and O.P. Heggie's
genuine performances, Gene Hackman and Boyle found a
way of turning the disability into a comic threat. In
1974, both Hackman and Boyle were best known for their
dramatic roles, yet these two drama veterans revealed
the comedic timing of Laurel & Hardy.
"Young Frankenstein" featured the last screen
collaboration between Gene Wilder and Mel Brooks.
Professionally, the two funny men went their separate
ways. It is interesting to note that 12 years later,
Gene Wilder starred, wrote and directed "Haunted
Honeymoon," which featured two gags that seemed to
have been lifted from "Young Frankenstein." Given
his Grammy Award winning success with "The
Producers" and the future musical remake, there is
scuttlebutt that Mel Brooks plans a Broadway
adaptation of "Young Frankenstein."
The monster himself, Peter Boyle, is scheduled attend
a free outdoor screening of "Young Frankenstein" at
Mizner Park in Boca Raton, Sunday April 17. The free
screening is honor of the Palm Beach International
Film Festival's 10th Anniversary. Other activities
include a “Tribute to the Movies" by the Flamingo
Freedom Band and a giant birthday celebration
Also in attendance will be Patricia
Heaton, Peter Boyle's fictional daughter-in-law from
"Everybody loves Raymond." Heaton and her
reality-based husband, David Hunt, will be premiering
their documentary "The Bituminous Coal Queens of
Pennsylvania." This film observes a small
Pennsylvania town's preparation for the 50th
anniversary celebration of the Bituminous Coal Queen
Pageant. The premier for "The Bituminous Coal Queens
of Pennsylvania" is scheduled for Sunday
Evening at the Sunrise Mizner Theater at 7:15 pm.
Unlike most Film Festivals, the emphasis of the Palm
Beach International Film Festival is on performing
arts education. The 10th annual Palm Beach
International Film Festival will be held April 14-21
at various venues throughout Palm Beach County. PBIFF
is a not for profit 501(3)(c) charity dedicated to
improving educational programs in Palm Beach County
high schools, community colleges and universities.
Proceeds raised each year go to Palm Beach County
schools to provide new technologies for optimal
learning in the forms of grants and scholarships.
As a graduate of the Broward (formerly Dillard) School
of Performing Arts, I may not have achieved the
financial and artistic success of a Patricia Heaton or
a Peter Boyle. However my professional life has been
richer because of my background in Performing Arts
If you need a break from the usual
corporate hype of mainstream films, you may want to
check out the films being offered by the Palm Beach
Film Festival at Sunrise Mizner. For more information
visit http://www.pbifilmfest.org/index.asp or call 561.362.0003.