Young Frankenstein

SIFF Cinema Uptown Seattle, WA


Dr. Thomas Daniel

Professor, University of Washington

Young Frankenstein— Movement in Biological Systems

A discussion of the physics, engineering, and neural control of movement in biological systems.

SIFF Cinema Uptown Seattle, WA

Film Synopsis

An American grandson of the infamous scientist, struggling to prove that he is not as insane as people believe, travels to his family's home country and discovers the process that reanimates a dead body.

Young neurosurgeon Frederick Frankenstein (co-writer Gene Wilder) has spent his entire life trying to live down his family's reputation by altering the pronunciation of his name ("That's Fronkensteen") and rejecting his infamous grandfather's experiments in reanimating dead tissue. But when he is forced to visit the old family castle in Transylvania and discovers granddad's lab journal, he embraces his destiny: to succeed where his ancestor failed. With the help of a salvaged corpse, a purloined brain, and an electrical storm, Frederick creates his monster (Peter Boyle) and brings him to life, with hilariously unintended consequences. The lively supporting cast of characters includes Frankenstein’s voluptuous lab assistant, Inga (Teri Garr), pop-eyed hunchback Igor (Marty Feldman), fearsome housekeeper Frau Blücher (Cloris Leachman), and his high-strung fiancée (Madeline Kahn). Director Mel Brooks turns the Frankenstein legend into comic gold in this inspired parody of 1930s Universal horror classics, filmed in gorgeous black and white and recreating in loving detail the look and feel of the original movies.

About the Speaker

Dr. Thomas Daniel holds the Joan and Richard Komen Endowed Chair. He received his PhD in biology from Duke University and was the Bantrel Postdoctoral Fellow in Engineering Sciences at Caltech until 1984 when he joined the University of Washington and has been here ever since. He is the proud recipient of the University of Washington 1989 Distinguished Teaching Award and the 2001 Distinguished Graduate Mentor Award, as well as being named a MacArthur Fellow.