AP Photo/Dave PickoffAP Photo/Dave Pickoff

Mentioning Young Frankenstein tends come conjure the photo of Gene Wilder and Peter Boyle wearing optimal hats and tapdancing to Irving Berlin’s jazzy hit, “Putting on the Ritz.” In the iconic scene, Wilder (playing Dr. Frederick Frankenstein) sings many of the song, and also Boyle (as the monster) chimes in v the song’s hook: “Puttin’ on the Rizt!” (or rather, “Poo — tmmm anngh ma Ritz!”)

The succession is maybe the finest and most memorable in the Hollywood Halloween classic. But according to director Mel Brooks, the scene practically didn’t happen.

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The Idea because that “Young Frankenstein”

As Brooks remembers in his book, Young Frankenstein: The Story of the make of the Film, Wilder very first revealed the idea for the film as soon as the 2 were shoot Blazing Saddles. In ~ the time, Brooks and Wilder had currently worked together on the Hollywood rendition of the Broadway musical, The Producers. Wilder was gaining notoriety together an actor in movies like Willy Wonka and also the coco Factory.

Wilder explained the premise: a parody of standard black-and-white fear film adaptations of mary Shelley’s 1818 novel “Frankenstein”. Wilder request Brooks if he’d take into consideration writing and also directing the movie v him. Brooks agreed.

“That very night, after shooting Blazing Saddles, I discussed to Gene?s hotel, the Bel-Air, simply to discuss, and also we spent until five in the morning talking about the storyline end Earl Grey tea and also digestif biscuits,” Brooks wrote. “We talked about being an extremely faithful come the tempo and the watch of James Whale?s marvelous films Frankenstein native 1931 and Bride that Frankenstein native 1935.”

The two wrote together every night after Brooks finished in the editing room for Blazing Saddles. Indigenous the start, the duo knew “exactly wherein we to be going”. They’d yes, really run into one major hiccup: A dispute over that notorious “Putting top top the Ritz” scene.

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Mel Brook’s and Gene Wilder’s dispute Over “Puttin’ on the Ritz”


We had actually only one fight?and it was a big one?over the scene whereby the monster dances come ?Puttin? on the Ritz,? Brooks remembers. “I said Gene it was a an excellent idea, it was funny, however it was also far external of our salute to the black-and-white classics.”

Brooks assumed the scene to be a small too ridiculous, yet Wilder assumed it to be proof of exactly how amazing the monster really was. Lock agreed to movie the scene and see how it reviewed with check audiences. “Of course, Gene was dead right because it take it the movie to one more level?our level,” created Brooks. “We left James Whale, and also we saw where we wanted to be. That?s what audiences were paying for. Castle weren?t paying because that a true artistic resemblance to James Whale?s movies. They wanted to laugh.”

The an outcome of the two cinematic understand mind’s job of love to be a box office hit and quite possibly one of the funniest movie of all time. Wilder starred as the film’s location character, along with greats prefer Teri Garr (Inga), Cloris Leachman, Marty Feldman (Igor), Madeline Kahn (Frau Blücher), Gene Hackman (the blind man).