The Producers (1968)

425cf-the_producers_1968Directed and written by Mel Brooks and starring Zero Mostel and Gene Wilder, this satirical comedy revolves around a producer and a lowly accountant who scheme to produce a flop so they can run off with the production money. The plan quickly develops thanks to the enthusiasm of Max Bialystock because he is fed up with romancing elderly women for money. They wade through numerous scripts finally settling on one titled “Springtime for Hitler.” They get the rights from the deranged writer, find their equally odd director, and a groovy hippie is cast as Hitler. Everything seems set for failure on opening night when the audience appears aghast. However, when the two producers go to celebrate the reaction changes and the crowd misinterprets LSD’s portrayal of Hitler as satire. The show is a success so in one last ditch effort they destroy the theater. Bialystock and Bloom finds themselves injured, arrested, and finally tried in court for being incredibly guilty. Despite an impassioned entreaty by Bloom the two men find themselves in jail but it isn’t so bad because they go back into the production business and they are up to the same old tricks again. This film was important as Mel Brooks’ first great triumph. True it is vulgar, irreverent, and in bad taste but I think that is exactly what Brooks was going for to get a laugh. And I have to say “Springtime for Hitler” has to be one of the most annoying songs I have ever heard. Aside from that I suppose this movie does have some funny parts.
4/5 Stars

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