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#1
Old 07-24-2009, 12:48 PM
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Frau Blücher (whinny)

My daughter and I were watching Rebecca last evening, and we couldn't help but notice a certain uncanny resemblance between the creepy housekeeper Mrs. Danvers and Frau Blücher from Young Frankenstein.

Coincidence? I think not.
#2
Old 07-24-2009, 01:33 PM
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With a title like that, I was expecting something about the "Blucher means 'glue' in German" urban legend. Glad it's not.
#3
Old 07-24-2009, 02:01 PM
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It would appear Mrs. Danvers was the model evil housekeeper to which a number of later films would pay homage. Here's a stock picture of Cloris (Last Picture Show) showing that the mole on Frau Blücher's chin, in the same place as Mrs. Danvers', was no gift of nature.

Last edited by lieu; 07-24-2009 at 02:04 PM.
#4
Old 07-24-2009, 02:02 PM
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...well what does it mean in German?

ETA: Asked of mobo85.

Last edited by Sage Rat; 07-24-2009 at 02:02 PM.
#5
Old 07-24-2009, 02:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sage Rat View Post
...well what does it mean in German?

ETA: Asked of mobo85.
Yes, I was going to ask the same question. I heard Cloris Leachman on Fresh Air a couple of months ago, and she repeated the Blucher = glue story. She said that that was what Mel Brooks told her. Snopes should put a restraining order on her!
#6
Old 07-24-2009, 02:35 PM
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It doesn't mean anything. There was a famous Prussian general by that name who did well against Napoleon, a few other famous Blüchers through the years, a few warships, a sub wolfpack, and a few other things, all apparently named after the first one. I have no doubt that Mel Brooks told Cloris Leachman that it means "glue," though; it's Mel Brooks, after all.
#7
Old 07-24-2009, 03:24 PM
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Originally Posted by Nametag View Post
I have no doubt that Mel Brooks told Cloris Leachman that it means "glue," though; it's Mel Brooks, after all.
One must suspect the guy who named "Lili Von Shtupp"
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Old 07-24-2009, 04:00 PM
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So what made the horses whinny? I always thought she'd had "relations" with a stallion.
#9
Old 07-24-2009, 04:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lieu View Post
It would appear Mrs. Danvers was the model evil housekeeper to which a number of later films would pay homage. Here's a stock picture of Cloris (Last Picture Show) showing that the mole on Frau Blücher's chin, in the same place as Mrs. Danvers', was no gift of nature.
I won't comment on the "glue" debate, other than saying that I once passed on this bit of urban lore in a crowded restaurant, only to be vehemently contradicted by a native German speaker at the next table.

What I find interesting, and the reason I started the topic in the first place, is that I seem to recall from listening to the Young Frankenstein commentary that Cloris Leachman did her own makeup for Frau Blücher, and when she appeared on set in character the other cast members were baffled by her appearance. While I admit that I'd never seen Rebecca before last evening, I would have thought the joke would be far more obvious to folks who had already been working in the movie industry for decades.
#10
Old 07-24-2009, 05:47 PM
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Snopes on the "Blucher=glue" story. "Blucher" doesn't mean anything in German: the horses whinnying at the mention of her name is just a play on the old-timey fashion of having a disturbing organ chord or somesuch whenever the villain's name is mentioned, made sillier by the choice of horse noises and the fact that she isn't a villain.
#11
Old 07-24-2009, 06:05 PM
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Originally Posted by Encinitas View Post
So what made the horses whinny? I always thought she'd had "relations" with a stallion.
The mere mention of her name struck terror into them. It was another riff on old horror films.

I recently saw the interview with Gene Wilder on TCM, during which he said that it was nearly impossible to work with Cloris Leachman. She was so outrageously funny that he, the cast and crew kept cracking up. Ditto for the guy who played the constable.
#12
Old 07-24-2009, 08:02 PM
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So what made the horses whinny? I always thought she'd had "relations" with a stallion.
That's what my associates and I thought.
#13
Old 07-24-2009, 08:32 PM
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Originally Posted by Chefguy View Post
The mere mention of her name struck terror into them. It was another riff on old horror films.
Oh, it was a bit more than that. From the above Snopes link:
Quote:
Horses are heard whinnying at any repetition of the words "Frau Blucher," even in settings — such as the interior of Frankenstein's castle — where no horses are present!
Quote:
Originally Posted by carnivorousplant
Quote:
Originally Posted by Encinitas
I always thought she'd had "relations" with a stallion.
That's what my associates and I thought.
Also from Snopes:
Quote:
The horses are terrified at hearing the name "Frau Blucher," but Frau Blucher herself doesn't bother them at all.
#14
Old 07-24-2009, 08:56 PM
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They were in the adjoining stable hoping for a...visit.

She is leading the group up or down the stairs and says, "Stay close to the candles. The stairs are treacherous!" The candles aren't lit.
#15
Old 07-25-2009, 03:11 AM
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Originally Posted by carnivorousplant View Post
They were in the adjoining stable hoping for a...visit.

She is leading the group up or down the stairs and says, "Stay close to the candles. The stairs are treacherous!" The candles aren't lit.
And it only took me ten viewings of this movie to realize that the candles weren't lit.
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