An American grandson of the infamous scientist, struggling to prove that his grandfather was not as insane as people believe, is invited to Transylvania, where he discovers the process that reanimates a dead body.
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>
Gene Wilder said in an interview on TCM that at the first reading of the script, he excused himself to leave for a dentist appointment he could not miss, when in fact he had to go to the unemployment office to collect a check for $55 he desperately needed at the time. See more »
During the time in Liebkind's flat and leaving it Max and Leo are wearing Nazi bandages on the right arm. However the real swastika bandages were worn on the left arm. Since Franz Liebkind was a "true" Nazi, he should have known that. See more »
The closing credits shows the actors full name and their picture. It only says "Zero" for Zero Mostel. See more »
The original, network television broadcasts added some outtakes (more fuse bumbling by Franz Liebkin) near the end, between "The quick fuse?!" and the eventual explosion. The padding was probably to balance some censorship cuts in the running time. See more »
Die Wacht am Rhein
Music by Karl Wilhelm
Lyrics by Max Schneckenburger
(only used in the german synchronisation, replacing 'Das Lied der Deutschen')
sung on the roof of Franz Liebkings house See more »
A down-on-his-luck Broadway producer, Max Biolystock (Zero Mostel), is reduced to funding his shows by romancing old ladies for cash. Enter neurotic accountant Leo Bloom (Gene Wilder), arriving at Biolystock's apartment to do his books. Upon discovering that Biolystock had extorted $2000.00 from his last Broadway flop, Bloom, simply on a whim, mentions to Biolystock that he could've made a fortune on the flop if he'd only gotten more money from the old ladies. Needless to say, this revelation gets Max's mind working---get the old ladies to invest $1,000,000 on what Biolystock knows will be a surefire flop, then run off with the excess cash! Max convinces the gullible Leo to join him on the scheme, and off the two men go, on a crusade to produce the biggest disaster Broadway has ever seen. They come across a god-awful work written by a former Nazi (Kenneth Mars) called "Springtime For Hitler," and decide to produce it. If it's a flop, Max & Leo will become rich. But if it's a hit, they'll go to jail....
If you're one of the infinite many who've been unable to secure any of those scorching-hot tickets to Mel Brooks' current Broadway phenomenon, "The Producers," there's always this, the original 1968 movie version to watch & enjoy. This Oscar-winner for Best Screenplay is a comedy classic, and easily Mel Brooks' masterpiece, a brilliantly funny film that hasn't aged a bit. Zero Mostel & Gene Wilder are hilarious & perfectly cast as the con-artist producers, with terrific chemistry between them (just their opening scene together, including the great bits about Leo's blue blanket, and Leo terrified of being jumped on by Max, is already one of the great filmed moments of comic acting). Kudos all around to the rest of the cast, too: Kenneth Mars as the deranged Nazi playwright of "Springtime For Hitler," Christopher Hewett as the no-talent gay director who only makes "Springtime" even more misguided than it already is, Dick Shawn in an outrageous performance as L.S.D., the hippie ham who lands the coveted role of Hitler (his audition song, "Love Power," is a major highlight), and the gorgeous Lee Meredith as Ulla, Max & Leo's dimwitted secretary. And then there's the "Springtime For Hitler" production number itself---yes, it's everything you've ever heard about it, a wonderfully hysterical "you gotta see it to believe it" moment in film comedy.
Mel Brooks' direction is spot on, and his hysterical screen writing here has never been better (though his co-writing with Gene Wilder on "Young Frankenstein" comes close). His Oscar win for the screenplay was very well deserved, indeed. "The Producers" is a timeless comedy classic, and the defining moment of Mel Brooks' long illustrious film career.
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