Down-on-his-luck theatrical producer Max Bialystock is forced to romance rich old ladies to finance his efforts. When timid accountant Leo Bloom reviews Max's accounting books, the two hit upon a way to make a fortune by producing a sure-fire flop. The play which is to be their gold mine? "Springtime for Hitler." Written by
Scott Renshaw <firstname.lastname@example.org>
This Quotable Classic is Still One of Mel Brooks' Very Best
I know more people who quote lines from THE PRODUCERS than from Shakespeare; make of that what you will! :-) That said, people seem to either love it or hate it, but most folks I know agree this nutzoid farce has, to quote groovy LSD (delightful Dick Shawn), "Love Power!" Writer/director Mel Brooks' insanely zany yet strangely sweet tale of down-on-his-luck Broadway producer Max Bialystock (the great Zero Mostel, who should have been nominated for an Oscar himself) who uses his powers of persuasion (and wheedling, and bellowing, and conning :-) to convince meek accountant Leo Bloom (justifiably Oscar-nominated Gene Wilder) to help him make a surefire Broadway flop that, if their nutty book-cooking scheme works, will land them in Rio -- or, if it doesn't work, Sing Sing. This screamingly funny, no-holds-barred comedy won Mel Brooks an Oscar for Best Screenplay and put the former YOUR SHOW OF SHOWS writer on the map as a filmmaker. Anyone trying to make a comedy depending on controversy and questionable taste for its laughs should watch THE PRODUCERS first and see how a master does it! For that matter, Mel Brooks and Gene Wilder ought to watch it again themselves; after the duds they were churning out for a while there, maybe they need a refresher course in how to be funny. (Hell, it might be as simple as them teaming up again; Wilder seemed able to temper Brooks's mania for poo-poo humor and Brooks seemed able to help Wilder to better balance out his trademark blend of shrill hysteria and sweetness.) Much as my family and I also loved the Broadway and film editions of the musical version co-written by Brooks and Thomas Meehan and starring the incomparable Nathan Lane and Matthew Broderick (even though I felt that Broderick wasn't quite as good as Leo Bloom as Lane was as Max Bialystock. That said, together they have great buddy chemistry), the original is still the champ.
13 of 15 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?