Study Guide

Young Frankenstein Scene 2

Scene 2

Scene 2

  • The camera opens on the skeleton's box.
  • A man with a mustache holds it as a pompous scientist is talking about the human brain.
  • The man sits down among the students at the back of the room.
  • At the front of the class, the professor lectures and writes on the chalkboard. He asks if there are any questions.
  • One smarmy student –there's one in every class—gets up and says, "I have a question, Dr. Frankenstein."
  • The doctor turns around and corrects his pronunciation. "It's pronounced 'Fronkensteen.'"
  • The student pushes the issue a bit: isn't he the grandson of the famous Dr. Victor Frankenstein who dug up corpses and reanimated them?
  • The professor pushes back. Yes, but his grandfather was a lunatic. Dead is dead.
  • The student gets back to his question: he doesn't understand the difference between voluntary and involuntary impulses.
  • So it's time for a demonstration. A scrawny old man named Mr. Hilltop is wheeled in on a table.
  • He stands up, and Frankenstein tells him to raise his left knee. He does. That's a voluntary impulse.
  • Now he demonstrates a reflex movement by acting like he's going to attack him, and the man cringes away.
  • Then the doctor puts a clamp on Hilltop's head, which is supposed to suppress the reflexive impulses.
  • The doctor is able to knee the man in the groin without him reacting.
  • The assistants take off the clamp and Hilltop is wheeled off the stage moaning in agony.
  • The smarmy student asks Dr. Frankenstein again about his grandfather's work on "the reanimation of dead tissue."
  • Dr. Frankenstein dismisses it as the ravings of a crazy person. "My grandfather's work was doo-doo!" He pounds his fist on his knee...without dropping the scalpel first. Class is dismissed.
  • The students file out, and the old man with the box approaches him.
  • His name is Gerhardt Falkstein. He's brought Frankenstein's great-grandfather's will.
  • Cue dramatic music.