Mel Brooks used handkerchiefs to stop Young Frankenstein crew laughs
Mel Brooks bought 100 handkerchiefs for the crew on 'Young Frankenstein' to stop them laughing.
The 91-year-old actor and filmmaker helmed the 1974 Gene Wilder movie - which is a parody of the classic horror film genre - and admitted the laughter from the crew would often spoil filming so he made them stuff their mouths with handkerchiefs when they wanted to laugh.
Speaking on 'The Jonathan Ross Show', Brooks said: "I don't want to brag but laughter from the crew would actually often spoil a scene in 'Young Frankenstein'. We're filming and then the crew breaks up and then you're in trouble. So I went out and bought 100 handkerchiefs, it cost me about 60 bucks, and I gave them to everybody on the crew and I said, 'When you feel like laughing, shove that handkerchief in your mouth. Don't laugh and don't spoil a scene because I can't keep doing it.' There was a seas of white handkerchiefs and I knew I had a hit."
The acclaimed filmmaker - who is best known for his satirical comedies - also recalled the time he met with the 'Master of Suspense' Alfred Hitchcock and discussed his script for the Hitchcock-spoof movie 'High Anxiety'.
Brooks starred and directed the 1977 movie and received a box of wine costing around $25,000 from Hitchcock himself.
He said: "I loved him. I actually knew Hitchcock, he took me to the finest restaurant in Beverly Hills. He sat next to me and I showed him a rough cut of 'High Anxiety' and he laughed only once when the birds were s***ting all over me. Then without a word he got up and just departed, just left. And I said, 'Oh my God, he didn't like the film, how terrible.' Next day, I'm at 20th Century Fox, a big box, it's a box of wine, a very fine French wine, must have been worth 20, 25 thousand dollars, arrived with a little note saying, 'I had no anxiety about 'High Anxiety' it's a truly wonderful film, love Hitch ... The Master of Suspense.' "
'High Anxiety' was Brooks' first film as a producer and first speaking lead role and stars Harvey Korman, Cloris Leachman and Madeline Kahn.
The film is dubbed a parody of suspense thrillers, most notably Hitchcock's work, including 'Spellbound', 'Vertigo' and 'The Birds', and was dedicated to the English filmmaker.