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The Producers [VHS]

91 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Actors: Zero Mostel, Gene Wilder, Dick Shawn, Kenneth Mars, Lee Meredith
  • Directors: Mel Brooks
  • Writers: Mel Brooks
  • Producers: Jack Grossberg, Joseph E. Levine, Sidney Glazier
  • Language: English, German
  • Classification: PG
  • Studio: 4front
  • VHS Release Date: 16 April 2001
  • Run Time: 84 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (91 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00004CJSB
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 195,766 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Product Description

Product Description

Failed Broadway producer Max (Zero Mostel) and timid accountant Leo (Gene Wilder) come up with a foolproof plan to make a fortune, by staging a musical which is guaranteed to flop and close after one night. A mad Nazi seems to have the perfect raw material - a tribute to the Führer entitled 'Springtime for Hitler'. However, the show is taken for a comedy classic, and becomes an overnight success. The two schemers, faced with financial ruin, determine to blow up the theatre in which the show is taking place. Mel Brooks won a Best Screenplay Oscar for the film, which also marked his directorial debut.

From Amazon.co.uk

Mel Brooks' directorial debut remains both a career high point and a classic show-business farce. Hinging on a crafty plot premise, which in turn unleashes a joyously insane onstage spoof, The Producers is powered by a clutch of over-the-top performances, capped by the odd couple pairing of the late Zero Mostel and Gene Wilder, making his screen debut.

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

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

33 of 34 people found the following review helpful By Penguin Egg on 24 Mar. 2002
Format: VHS Tape
This film has lost none of its charm since it was made over a quarter of a
century ago. This remains Mel Brooks' funniest and finest film. It is about
two Broadway producers who borrow money heavily in order to put on a
Broadway show that will flop. If they borrow more than they spend, they keep
the rest of the money and make a fortune. The hoped for flop is a musical
based on the life of Hitler, called Springtime for Hitler. It all goes
hilariously wrong when the musical becomes an unintentional success. The
performances are spot-on. Zero Morstel barnstorms his way through every
scene and Gene Wilder was never better as the nervous accountant turned
producer who falls foul of Morstel's greedy ambitions. Kenneth Marrs'
performance as the deranged ex-Nazi burns itself into your brain and has to
be one of the funniest turns I have ever seen. Brooks keeps the pace frantic
but steady. He never lets the pace drag but he never lets it get too over
the top. The performances are manic but the actors never ham it up for the
camera. Even the sheer bad taste of the musical sequence of Springtime for
Hitler is handled with skill, and you will never find a funnier scene in
cinema. This has to be one of the funniest films of the 20th Century.
Watching this, you will be laughing along with it scene by scene until the
very end, and afterwards you will be humming the theme tune to Springtime to
Hitler.
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43 of 45 people found the following review helpful By "liedetector" on 2 Nov. 2004
Format: DVD
I was so excited to see this film was coming out on DVD in the UK and I wasn't disappointed. I read a recent review on Amazon and thought the film may be cut but it isn't, in fact they have found an extra scene that was not in the original film. The making of is also brilliant. If you want to know why Mel Brooks is a comic genius then watch The Producers.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Neal Reynolds on 6 Jan. 2003
Format: VHS Tape
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

This is Mel Brooks at his best. The comedy here is outrageous as Zero Mostel & his accountant hit on the scheme of having a whole batch of rich old ladies supplying financial backing for a planned flop, and what is more likely to flop than a musical biography of Hitler titled "Springtime For Hitler"?
Indeed, this is an example of comedy in bad taste which is so hilarious, you can't possibly be offended by it. Zero Mostel and Gene Wilder are at their very best.
This is a true comedy classic.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By S J Buck TOP 500 REVIEWER on 24 Sept. 2008
Format: DVD
This is Mel Brooks debut film as a director, and its amongst his very best work. Of his other films only Young Frankenstein is in the class IMO. From its marvellous opening credit sequence right through to the end this maintains a very high standard of comedy. Fortunately for Mel Brooks he was lucky enough to get Zero Mostel and Gene Wilder in the two leading roles. They both give outstanding performances which are very nearly matched by Kenneth Mars. He plays 'Franz Liebkind' the writer of a musical that both Max and Leo (Mostel and Wilder) believe will fail horribly and make them a fortune. Of course not everything goes quite to plan and the rest you should see for yourself.

The extras in this two disc edition are very good. The original statement from Peter Sellers after he first saw The Producers is read. Sellers described it as "the ultimate film....". As another reviewer has mentioned he later used a large chunk of Liebkinds dialogue in a famous interview on the Parkinson show. There is a 63 minute documentary on the making of The Producers and some outtakes as well.

I picked this 2 disc edition up very cheaply, so look around as there is no need to pay full price. Overall an excellent film that would probably have got 4.5 stars from if it was possible.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By M. Halai on 2 Oct. 2006
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This dvd version seems to have been edited/censored(?). There is a major lack of continuity at some points e.g. scene ends where Franz Liebkind is about to sign the contract. In the next scene, we see Zero Mostel and Gene Wilder with swastika armbands. Their arms were clear in the previous scene so where did those come from? Again, in their meeting with Roger de Bris, there are some jumps in conversation which just dont make sense indicating cuts have been made.

As a`result, many parts of the story just dont gel and if I hadnt seen the musical I wouldnt have known what was going on.

If a movie has been edited there should be some indication of this in the description so a buyer knows whether to purchase it or not.
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41 of 46 people found the following review helpful By Christopher Guest on 28 Dec. 2004
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I first saw 'The Producers' on BBC2's 'Midnight Movie' slot one Saturday night/Sunday morning during the early 1970's. Alongside 'It's A Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World' 'The Producers' is my favourite all-time comedy film. What is more, I can still remember Peter Sellers' memorable re-enactment of Kenneth Mars' monologue on the Parkinson Show on why Hitler was a better painter than Churchill.
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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