Throwback Thursday-The Brady Bunch Movie (1995) & A Very Brady Sequel (1996)

The Brady Bunch is without a doubt classic television. It was the gateway between the surgery sweet predictable domestic/families comedies that came before it and the programs that came after it that was closer to real life.

After several decades of reruns, the television show was brought to the big screen. In 1995, The Brady Bunch Movie premiered. A satirical take on the television series, the movie places the sugary sweet 1960’s/1970’s  Brady Bunch characters into a mid 1990’s cynical world. Mike (Gary Cole) and Carol (Shelley Long) need to raise $20,000 within a week. If they don’t, they will loose their house to their scheming neighbor Larry Dittmeyer (Michael McKean). As usual, it is up the Brady kids to save the day.

This movie is dated, but in a good way. For fans of the original series, the in jokes and wink, wink, nudge, nudge nuances are built in. For those looking to skewer The Brady Bunch in a satirical way, that is also built into the script.

A year later, the sequel premiered.

A Very Brady Sequel (1996) answered the question that The Brady Bunch never seemed answer: What happened to Mike and Carol’s previous spouses? Roy Martin (Tim Matheson) arrives on the doorsteps of the Brady’s house claiming to be Carol’s first husband.  Roy is easily embraced by the family, but he may have more in mind than reuniting with his supposed ex-wife and daughters.

Riding on the satirical wave from the first film, this film dives even further in the Brady lore. While it is not as good as the first film, it still holds up as a decent entertainment.

I recommend them both.


Throwback Thursday- Mel Brooks Double Feature- Young Frankenstein and To Be or Not To Be

Ask any comedian over the last forty years and they will probably tell you that Mel Brooks is a comedy g-d.

On this Throwback Thursday post, I’m going to talk about Young Frankenstein And To Be Or Not To Be

Young Frankenstein

Dr. Frankenstein (Gene Wilder) is the grandson of the original Dr. Frankenstein. After years of trying to remove himself from his familial past, he is pulled back in and attempts to re-create his grandfather’s work. Co starring the late Peter Boyle (the monster), Marty Feldman (Igor), Teri Garr (Inga) and the late great Madeline Kahn (Elizabeth).

What can I say about this movie? It is immensely quotable and beyond funny. Brooks retains the origins of Mary Shelley’s original novel  while putting his own stamp on the story.

And now for your viewing pleasure, the trailer for Young Frankenstein:

I’m also including Putting On The Ritz, it’s the funniest scene in the film.

To Be or Not To Be

To Be Or Not To Be is Brook’s 1983 remake of the 1942 original film starring Jack Benny and Carole Lombard.

Just before World War II, a Polish acting troupe led by Frederick and Anna Bronski (Brooks and his late wife, Anne Bancroft) is preparing for their next production when they learn that it has to be scrapped. The Nazis are massing on the borders of Poland.  When Anna starts receiving flowers and visits from a young Polish officer (Tim Matheson), the entire troupe becomes involved in the war.

Brooks and his collaborators kept much of the original screenplay intact while putting their own spin on the film. As he did in The Producers, Brooks taking the sting out of the Nazis (as much as one can), while pointing out the absurdity of their beliefs.  This movie is perfect and funny and always enjoyable.

I recommend both films.

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