New York, 1959. Max Bialystock was once the king of Broadway, but now all his shows close on opening night. Things turn around when he's visited by the neurotic accountant Leo Bloom, who proposes a scheme tailor-made for producers who can only make flops: raise far more money than you need, then make sure the show is despised. No one will be interested in it, so you can pocket the surplus. To this end, they produce a musical called Springtime for Hitler written by escaped Nazi Franz Liebken. Then they get the insanely flamboyant Roger De Bris to direct. Finally, they hire as a lead actress the loopy Swedish bombshell Ulla (whose last name has over 15 syllables). As opening night draws near, what can go wrong? Well, there's no accounting for taste...Written by
Nicole Kidman was originally considered as a possible Ulla. Matthew Broderick allegedly offered her the role while they were filming The Stepford Wives (2004), to which she immediately said yes without seeing so much as a first draft of the script. Kidman subsequently backed out of the project, feeling she was working too much. See more »
After Max buzzes all of the little old ladies out during the "Along Came Bialy" number, the first apartment building shows a little old lady who says "Maxy" coming out second. But in the next shot this little old lady is first leading them out of the building. See more »
While I may not have seen the Producers before, I had been told that this would still be worth watching even without prior knowledge (though I have seen Mel Brooks movies before and I could see his style was certainly in the director's mind).
The Producers is a bit flat. It has all the glitz and the glamour but I really felt the humour to be...antique. I imagine that the type of humour on display would suit an older, grainy looking film. But something didn't feel right through-out the movie and the jokes were just dull - I only smiled a handful of times.
That being said, the actors do a solid job. Nathan Lane is wonderful and suits the role completely. Broderick is good, but I also felt that he didn't quite get as immersed as Lane and considering they spend the overwhelming majority of the film together, it's a bit of a dent. Uma Thurman was okay (and looked delightful, especially in her summer dress towards the end) and Will Ferrell was surprisingly solid. Gary Beach is also worth mentioning though for his great performance as Roger - just bizarre!
The props and set design were very good and I quite liked the way in which it was presented as if it were taking place on a stage. But the pacing was off and, by the end, it felt extremely rushed; becoming disjointed. That being said, it's still a solid watch even if it's a bit "meh" at times.
P.S. Brits and Torchwood fans - watch out for John Barrowman as the 'Lead Tenor'! It caught me by surprise!
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