20 July 2011

Looking for Abby

The brain which Igor is ordered to steal is labeled as belonging to "Hans Delbrück, scientist and saint". A real-life Hans Delbrück was a nineteenth-century military historian; his son Max Delbrück was a twentieth-century biochemist and Nobel laureate.

Every time Frau Blücher's name is mentioned, horses are heard whinnying as if afraid of her name. Many viewers mistakenly believe that Blücher means "glue" in German; however, Blücher is a well-known German surname. The German term for glue is der Kleber, or tierischer Leim for animal glue. Brooks suggested in a 2000 interview that he had based the joke on the erroneous translation, which he had heard from someone else. In an interview, Cloris Leachman said that Mel had told her that that is why he named her character Blücher.  In the audio commentary, Mel Brooks explains that the horses are whinnying to show us that Frau Blücher is an ominous character: "They're terrified of her; God only knows what she does to them when nobody else is around."
Photo via Old Hollywood.

1 comment:

  1. Hah! One of the kids' favourite films, that. The Frau Blucher gag is a favourite round here - our nine year old found last year's teacher was a fan, so there was a fair bit of silly stuff.
    Don't know if next year's teacher has the same sense of humour.

    Trouble with watching films your peers don't know is they don't get the references - our son was being bullied at school, the favourite being a rather aggressive "What have you been saying about my mother?" to which he replied "Your mother was a hampster and your father smelled of elderberries."
    Luckily a passing teacher got the gag and waded in to prevent a fight.


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