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The Producers (1967)

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Producers Max Bialystock and Leo Bloom make money by producing a sure-fire flop.

Director:

Mel Brooks

Writer:

Mel Brooks
Won 1 Oscar. Another 2 wins & 5 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Estelle Winwood ... Hold Me Touch Me
Renée Taylor ... Eva Braun (as Renee Taylor)
David Patch David Patch ... Goebbels
William Hickey ... The Drunk (as Bill Hickey)
Barney Martin ... Göring
Shimen Ruskin ... The Landlord
Frank Campanella Frank Campanella ... The Bartender
Josip Elic Josip Elic ... Violinist
Madelyn Cates Madelyn Cates ... Concierge (as Madlyn Cates)
John Zoller John Zoller ... Drama Critic
Brutus Peck Brutus Peck ... Hot Dog Vendor
Anne Ives Anne Ives ... Lady
Amelie Barleon Amelie Barleon ... Lady
Lisa Kirk Lisa Kirk ... Lady (as Elsie Kirk)
Nell Harrison Nell Harrison ... Lady
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Storyline

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 <as.idc@forsythe.stanford.edu>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Once upon a time there was a Broadway producer...who met a "creative" but timid accountant. Together they concocted the most outrageous $1,000,000 scheme in the annals of Show Biz. See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Music

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | German

Release Date:

10 November 1968 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Springtime for Hitler See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$941,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$6,091, 9 June 2002, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$111,866, 12 January 2003
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Pathécolor) (uncredited)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Ulla's (Lee Meredith's) repeated line "Goddag på dig!" is Swedish for "Good day to you!" See more »

Goofs

The positions of Max's hands change between shots when he is told to be a stable boy. See more »

Quotes

Max Bialystock: [reading post-show telegrams] ..."Congratulations with the biggest hit on Broadway!"..."Congratulations! Hitler will run forever!"..."Congratulations... Congratulations... Congra-"
Leo Bloom: Max, NO! Please... I think, if I hear that word again, I'm going to barf my guts out.
Max Bialystock: What word? You mean, congra...
Leo Bloom: *Don't say it!*
Roger De Bris: [bursts in with a tray of champagne and glasses] CONGRATULATIONS!
[Sure enough, Leo flees to the men's room in their office and throws up]
Roger De Bris: Have you seen the lines at the box office?
[...]
See more »

Crazy Credits

The closing credits shows the actors full name and their picture. It only says "Zero" for Zero Mostel. See more »

Alternate Versions

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 »

Connections

Referenced in I'm Not Feeling Myself Tonight (1976) See more »

Soundtracks

By The Light Of The Silvery Moon
Written by Gus Edwards and Edward Madden
Performed by Zero Mostel, Gene Wilder, and John Braden
See more »

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User Reviews

One of the Funniest Films of the Last 35 Years
16 August 2001 | by eibon09See all my reviews

The Producers(1968) has three things that make it a pleasurably funny film. One, the humorous interreactions between Gene Wilder and Zero Mostel. Two, the film's memorable and unforgettable "Springtime for Hitler" musical number. Three, the energetic and fresh style of the filmmaker, Mel Brooks.

Mel Brooks does a fantastic job in his masterful film debut as film director. Blends the crude humor of Blazing Saddles(1974) with the subtleness of Young Frankenstein(1974). Brooks's direction is daring and isn't afraid to use material that might be a little risque. I believe Mel Brooks direction in The Producers(1968) is excellent and surpassed only by his more mature direction for Young Frankenstein(1974).

The screenplay is terrificly good for a comedy of this kind. Perhaps the best written film by Mel Brooks in his directorial career. Boasts some original lines of dialogue and strange situations. The film's screenplay received an Oscar for Best Original Screenplay(too bad The Producers[1968] wasn't considered for Best Picture or Best Director).

Gene Wilder was the best alter ego as actor to Mel Brooks as director. He was in the director's three top films and that is no accident because Gene Wilder always added more laughs to the films of Mel Brooks in which he was in. The Mel Brooks pictures where Gene Wilder wasn't in lose a lot with the lack of his presence. In my opinion Gene Wilder worked with Mel Brooks in a way the director has not worked with anyone before or since.

The characters of Zero Mostel and Gene Wilder are opposites in personalities yet they make a perfect duo. The two leads give brilliant performances in their roles of Max Bialystock and Leo Bloom. Two is a number that plays an important role in many of the Mel Brooks films. In his films there is a leader and an assistent whose plans never work as originally envisioned.

A satire on planned failure and unintentional success that was daring for its time. Deals with how a bad or below average product can be popular due to good fortune. In the film, Max and Leo attempt to produce a failure on Boardway to collect the insurance. To their chargin the play becomes a big time success.

The main idea of the story was eeriely prophetic because today there are many lousy films that are big box office successes. The Producers(1968) message was that people will go to see anything even if the product isn't very good or excellent. Its funny to see how truthful The Producers(1968) was in portraying a certain element of human nature. To see films like Blair Witch Project(1999) or other lousy big hit films become successes shows that The Producers(1968) in one way was ahead of its time.

I have no intention of watching the Boardway play based on the film for several reasons. One, the actors in the play do not bring the same type of humor or style of Zero Mostel and Gene Wilder. Two, the story worked much better when written during the late 1960s. Three, anything that has been inspired from film into Boardway usually turns out to be not very good at all.

Kenneth Mars rounds out the main cast in a hilarious turn as Franz Liebkind. One of the best sequences is when Max flirts with old women to get their money. The final scene is another brilliant moment in The Producers(1968). The set designs are beautifully constructed and visually depicted.

William Hickly makes an obscure appearence in a film before his breakthrough role in Prizzi's Honor(1985). The Producers(1968) is Mel Brooks at his best and most enthusiastic. I can tell the film was made in the late 1960s because of the manners and style of the characters. A classic comedy made at a time when the cinema took chances and weren't afraid to use its artistic freedom to the fullest extent.


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