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Mostel is Max Bialystock, a gone-to-seed Broadway producer who spends his days wheedling cheques from his "investors", elderly women for whom Bialystock is only too willing to provide company. When wide-eyed auditor Leo Bloom (Wilder) comes to check the books, he unwittingly inspires the wild-eyed Max to hatch a sure-fire plan: sell 25,000 per cent of his next show, produce a deliberate flop, then abscond with the proceeds. Unfortunately for the producers (but fortunately for us), their candidate for failure is Springtime for Hitler, a Brooksian conceit that envisions what Goebbels might have accomplished with a little help from Busby Berkeley.
Truly startling during its original 1968 release, The Producers does show signs of age in some peripheral scenes that make merry at the expense of gays and women. But the show's nifty cast (notably including the late Dick Shawn as LSD, the space cadet that snags the musical's title role, and Kenneth Mars as the helmeted playwright) clicks throughout, and the sight of Mostel fleecing his marks is irresistibly funny. Add Wilder's literally hysterical Bloom, and it's easy to understand the film's exalted status among late-60s comedies. --Sam Sutherland, Amazon.com
This is a true comedy classic.
However, I was hoping that this newly released DVD might contain the cut scene that was missing from the VHS release that I own. So, I was bitterly dissappointed that it's still missing on the DVD. Why?
On the DVD, when an attempt is made to blow-up the theatre, our three luckless 'heroes' chase after a fast burning fuse - but too late, the theatre is gone. In the original film, however, the fast burning fuse is stopped before it's too late. They try again. This time they hook-up the fuse to a plunger-type detonator. They sink the plunger, but the explosive fails.
While all three go to see what's happened. The drunken 'failure' character that previously had shared in Max and Leo's ill fated celebrations in the threatre bar happens upon the plunger detonator. Finding that his shoe laces are undone, he places his foot on the detonator to tie-up his shoes - and - BOOM!
An extra couple of minute's worth of footage surely wouldn't have taken-up too much space on the DVD? After all, it's only an hour-and-a-half long as it is!
Otherwise, a useful addition to my 'Producers' library. Perhaps the 'Director's Cut' edition (in my dreams) will have the missing scene added.
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