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30 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The funniest film of the 20th Century
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...
Published on 24 Mar 2002 by Penguin Egg

12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars disappointing due to editing
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,...
Published on 2 Oct 2006 by M. Halai

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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great movie, shame about the cuts., 6 Sep 2003
By A Customer
This review is from: The Producers [VHS] (VHS Tape)
This is of course a great movie, probably the greatest comedy film of all time. However I've refrained from giving it 5 stars because there are some cuts in this edition. At the beginning in the conversation between Max and Leo, there is an awful piece of editing -what's been omitted or why isn't clear in this first case, but there is some dialogue missing.
Also, towards the end when they're in the theatre, some dialogue involving Kenneth Mars - "...with people it is male to female. With electricity it is strange, it is male to male", and his attempts to use a detonator, are missing from this edition. One can perhaps understand as it the above could be construed as being a negative allusion to homosexuality (maybe on the part of the author). On the other hand, these words are coming out of the mouth of a demented nazi, who talks to his "burds", and is the author of a play called "Springtime for Hitler". These omissions aside, this is great value for money.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Classic Film, 22 April 2009
Jeffrey Hunt "JJ" (London) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Producers: 30th Anniversary Edition [DVD] (DVD)
I haven't seen this film in years but remembered it was funny. Some years ago Barry Norman rated it as one of his favourites and when I saw it on Amazon at a bargain price I had to order it
And it's still a funny film. The plot is plausible, the script is well written and the casting is spot on
recommended viewing
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5.0 out of 5 stars The Original and Best., 14 Dec 2014
Mr. G. Robinson "garyrobinson15" (North Wales) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Producers: 30th Anniversary Edition [DVD] (DVD)
When Broadway producer Max Bialystock (Zero Mostel) falls on hard times, he, along with his faint-hearted timid Accountant, (Gene Wilder) formulates a supposedly sure-fire plan to make a fortune. However the plan backfires in spectacular fashion. The plan based on a simple accounting “thought” by Wilder centres on the idea that a Broadway failure could under certain circumstances make much more money than an actual a hit! These new “partners” now required a Bone Fide theatrical DISASTER and eventually find it in a new play titled “Spring-time for Hitler” Convinced they have a disaster they proceed to cast and produce the play and wait for the bad notices. However the play is seen as a “satire” and proves to be a huge hit. Their plan has backfired in spectacular fashion.

Brooke’s directorial debut is assured and confident enough to accept that audiences would probably “get it”. However it was also quite possible that they wouldn’t and it would be seen, by the public and critics alike, as an embarrassing failure. Luckily 60’e audiences were clued in sufficiently to “get it” and also embrace it. The Academy also “got it” and the screenplay the won an Oscar.

Stand out scenes for me, include Kenneth Mars as the deluded and possibly mad play-right Franz Liebkind extoling the decorating qualities of Hitler, as opposed to Churchill, on the roof of his apartment block whilst wearing a World War 2 German helmet and the fabulous Dick Shawn as Louis St Du Bois (LSD) playing it for laughs in the title role of an extremely camp Hitler. Christopher Hewett as the pretentious and useless theatre director Roger De Bris decked in full evening dress is just fabulous.

Seen as a simple absurdist comedy, it is very funny; however seen as a not too subtle swipe at Nazism and Anti-Semitism it is comedy of a rare kind.
Great fun.
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5.0 out of 5 stars The Producers [1968] [Collector's Edition] [Blu-ray + DVD Combo] [US Import], 9 Mar 2014
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The Producers [1968] [Collector's Edition] [Blu-ray + DVD Combo] [US Import] ONE OF THE FUNNIESTS MOVIES EVER MADE!

From the endlessly funny mind of filmmaker Mel Brooks comes this triple-Oscar® winning explosion of pure comic lunacy about low-rent Broadway producer Max Bialystock [Zero Mostel] and his high-strung accountant Leo Bloom [Gene Wilder]. They discover that, with the help of a few gullible investors, they can make more money on a flop than on a hit. So armed with the worst show ever written - "Springtime For Hitler" - and an equally horrific cast, this double-dealing duo is banking on disaster. But when their sure-to-offend musical becomes a surprise smash hit, they find themselves in the middle of a Broadway blitzkrieg! “A startling, stunning, outrageous [and] breath-taking debut!” – Los Angeles Times

FILM FACT: In 1968, Mel Brooks won the Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay, and Gene Wilder was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor. In addition, Zero Mostel was nominated for the Golden Globe Award for Best Actor – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy, and Brooks was nominated for the Golden Globe Award for Best Screenplay. In 1969, The Producers won a Writers Guild of America, East Best Original Screenplay award. In 1996, this film was deemed "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant" by the United States Library of Congress and selected for preservation in the National Film Registry.

Cast: Zero Mostel, Gene Wilder, Kenneth Mars, Dick Shawn, Lee Meredith, Estelle Winwood, Christopher Hewett, Andreas Voutsinas, Ghia Renée Taylor, Barney Martin, Bill Macy, William Hickey and Mel Brooks (uncredited cameo)

Director: Mel Brooks

Producers: Jack Grossberg, Sidney Glazier and Joseph E. Levine

Screenwriter: Mel Brooks

Composer: John Morris

Cinematography: Joseph Coffey

Resolution: 1080p

Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1

Audio: English: 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio and English: Original 1.0 PCM Mono track

Subtitles: English, French and Spanish

Running Time: 89 minutes

Region: Region A/1

Number of discs: 2

Studio: Shout! Factory

Andrew’s Blu-ray Review – 'The Producers' marks Mel Brooks' first attempt at writing for the big screen and directing. Unexpectedly, it also marked Brooks' first Oscar nomination and win for the award that we now call Best Original Screenplay. 'The Producers' is a unique comedy that has never been equalled.

The two leading characters were inspired by real events in Mel Brooks' life. At one point early in his career, Mel Brooks was the assistant to a scamming stage producer who would sleep with older wealthy women in exchange for them supplying funds for his productions. In 'The Producers,' this adaptation of Brooks' former boss is sexual businessman played by Zero Mostel. He's a grand, energetic and wildly zany character. I cannot think of another actor, past or present, which could pull off the physicality and non-stop intensity of Zero. Like many comedic stage actors, his actions and reactions are over-exaggerated – but adding balance to the potentially exhausting high energy of his character, Max Bialystock, is the calm fish-out-of-water bookkeeper that gets seduced into Max's dishonest lifestyle, Leo Bloom. Of course, this is the role that landed Gene Wilder in comedic motion pictures. The only silver screen production that he had appeared in prior to 'The Producers' was 'Bonnie and Clyde.' With Leo being a mostly restrained and reserved character, there are moments that Max pushes Leo's anxiety and break him out of his quiet shell. These instances offer the comedic brilliance that allows for Wilder to leave behind the straight man persona and conjure hearty "belly-laughs" from the audience.

As well-written as Max Bialystock and Leo Bloom are and as perfect as Zero Mostel and Gene Wilder are, and these pairings wouldn't be worth a dime if it wasn't for a great screenplay for them to exist within. Their character types are a great combination, but it's the scenario that they place themselves in that truly makes 'The Producers' a "perfect storm" of comedy.

When Leo Bloom is brought into Max Bialystock's office to help with bookkeeping, he notices a $2,000 error in the books. Max Bialystock's last production was a total flop. It came nowhere near profiting, so there wasn't the hassle of having to repay all of the investors; however, there were $2,000 left over from the production's budget. Being a conscious-less blood-sucking businessman, Max Bialystock persuades Leo Bloom into "cooking the books" and placing the $2,000 straight into Max Bialystock's pocket. Not having worked in show business until this moment, Leo Bloom notices a quick way that any dishonest producer could scam millions: if a producer pulled in millions of dollars from investors, didn't spend it all on the production and produced a sure-fire flop, then he could become an instant millionaire by cooking the books. It takes plenty of coaxing, but Leo proves to be a corruptible accountant and signs on to be Max's producing partner for their soon-to-be musical flop, "Springtime For Hitler."

Watching Max Bialystock and Leo Bloom intentionally sabotage their show is hilarious. From a pro-Hitler playwright and a horrible director to downright awful actors and Nazi propaganda musical numbers, their self-destruction is absolutely entertaining, making 'The Producers' one of the funniest comedies of all time.

Blu-ray Video Quality – Shout! Factory has given 'The Producers' a two-disc release that includes a Region A/1 [only] Blu-ray disc and a DVD copy of the film. The discs are housed in a standard double Amaray case that reveals a fun little secret – the cover art is reversible so that you can remove the sheet and flip it over for a completely different cover. The art on the back of the case remains the same, but the cover art is different. Aside from an FBI warning and a short Shout! Factory vanity reel, when you pop the disc in, you're quickly taken to the music-filled main menu.

'The Producers' has been given a good 1080p encoded image that presents the film in its original 1.85:1 aspect ratio. While it's not perfect, it still looks better than most 45-year-old films. For the most part, 'The Producers' has been scrubbed of imperfections and touched up to remove aging lines and scratches. If you're doing your best to spot them, you'll see miniscule specs throughout, but passively watching will keep them concealed. There are very few scratches – less than a handful – and even less debris. There really aren't many eye-catching distractions.

The sharpness of the picture waivers, but is typically on the defined side. Some shots appear blurry, but the majority are detailed – some revealing deep definition and very fine textures. Being a comedy, heightened colours abound. Reds and blues are vibrant, dabbling near the boundary of over-saturation, but never crossing into that territory.

A few flaws make their way into the picture, but most aren't until the film's final moments. Mild traces of speckles can be seen from time to time and around 43:44, mildly flickering noise can be seen in the black areas of the screen. The 49th minute carries some flashing, as if a projection bulb was starting to burn out mid-movie. The colours and brightness waiver during this scene. The camera shot at 1:19:40 is the sore thumb of the whole Blu-ray, revealing a very nasty and blurry transfer. And the scene at 1:21:45 features the most prominent vertical lines of the entire film. These flaws are very tame in comparison to some 45-year-old movies, but are noticeable due to 'The Producers' being strong during the other 99 percent of the film.

Blu-ray Audio Quality – Two audio options are presented here: a 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio track and an uncompressed PCM Mono track – at least, that's what the technical specs on the back of the Blu-ray case and in the set up portion of the disc's menu tell you. In reality, the PCM Mono track isn't mono at all, but really two-channel stereo.

I bounced around between the tracks from time to time and learned that there's really only one difference between the two options: the "mono" is always "mono," whereas the 5.1 track features the effects and vocals in mono, with the scene-transitioning music being the only element mixed throughout all channels. As if the 5.1 isn't enough of a let-down, during those scenes where the music kicks in, the volume of the music is so loud in comparison to the vocals that your knee-jerk reaction will be to reach for the controller and adjust the volume. The audio doesn't feature a single crackle and there's not a trace of hissing. The only occasional problem is distortion from blown-out levels during filming – loud screams or screeches, high-pitch chorus singing, etc. Aside from those moments, this is a relatively strong transfer for a film of its age.

Blu-ray Special Features and Extras:

Documentary: The Making of 'The Producers' [1:03:23] This lengthy and in-depth feature serves as a true documentary, walking you through the entire process of how 'The Producers' came to be, how it was shot, how it was distributed and how it became an Oscar-winning film. There's an abundance of interviews and clips, all of which are great.

Mel and His Movies: 'The Producers' [18:52] This feature is a fluid interview-like session with Mel Brooks. He discusses nearly everything shown in the 'Making of' feature, only in a compressed and abbreviated fashion.

Deleted Scene [3:41] The 'Making of' feature shows snippets and references an alternate version of how the duo tries to destroy the theatre. Watch the full version of this alternate scene here. Mel Brooks says that this scene was changed because the comedic timing doesn't work and, after watching it, I have to agree.

Peter Sellers' Ad in 'Variety' [0:53) Peter Sellers' raving one-paragraph review is read to the camera during an interview. Brooks references this quote in 'Mel and His Movies' and the story behind it is explained in the 'Making of.'

Sketch Gallery [2:15] Watch a slideshow set to music that shows dozens of different artistic depictions of the events and locations in the film.

Theatrical Trailers: The Producers [2:12]; ‘American Masters' Mel Brooks: Make a Noise [1:51] and The Incredible Mel Brooks: An Irresistible Collection of Unhinged Comedy [2:30]

Please Note: Only the misnamed "Soundtrack Spot" (which any Broadway musical lover will tell you should have been called an "Original Cast Recording Spot") has not been ported over from the Special Edition DVD.

Finally, considering the fact that 'The Producers' was made in the late 1960s, it's crazy to see the risqué jokes and gags (including pasties-covered nude breasts and geriatric foreplay) Mel Brooks gets away with in it. Mel Brooks hit the ground running with this comedy about an unlikely duo planning a million-dollar scam disguised as a Broadway flop. The boundary-pushing sexuality is matched by comically playing with taboo topics regarding Hitler and the Holocaust. The comedic timing of its leading duo is perfect, never missing a beat. The final punchline of the movie is unforgettable, so much so that it's been used and referenced in many black comedies since then. The transfer of this 45-year-old film is not flawless, but strong nonetheless. More special features exist than I expected, including an hour-plus documentary about 'The Producers.' If you are a Mel Brooks fan that was disappointed in 'The Producers' not being included in 'The Mel Brooks Collection,' then be excited for this Blu-ray because it's just as good – if not better – than the discs in that set. Again this has been an all-time favourite film of Mel Brooks and despite its age, still holds up well and the comedy is still relevant today, but I personally was very sad that the Blu-ray Cover could not be the design as the Criterion Collection NTSC LaserDisc Cover, as it was totally perfect. Also why won’t Mel Brooks release his latest ‘The Producers’ film musical, as this would be a brilliant companion to this particular Blu-ray Disc, so hopefully one day Mel Brooks will get his act together, as it would be a massive hit with all Mel Brooks fans of this comedy genius. Despite this, I am still honoured to have this in my Mel Brooks Blu-ray Collection and if you have never seen this film, well you will be in for a total hilarious [stomach aching] treat. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

Andrew C. Miller – Your Ultimate No.1 Film Fan
Le Cinema Paradiso
WARE, United Kingdom
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21 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Cracking DVD!, 2 Nov 2004
This is Mel Brooks at his very best and the long awaited DVD didn't disappoint either! Its the same film I loved as a kid and regardless of what other reviewers may have posted here ALL the original content has been included on the DVD as well as some viewing treats included as deleted scenes. Buy it now - you won't regret it!!!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A very special film, 23 July 2009
The reviewer who gave up after ten minutes is missing out on an utter masterpiece.

The other complaint here is about deleted scene - which makes the blowing up of the theatre happen slightly later - yes, it's not on the first disc, but it's on the second. The documentary (which curiously is in several parts, rather than one with chapters) makes it clear that it was cut by Mel and, guess what, he was right to do so. The released version is funnier, and it moves better.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant, 12 Oct 2006
D. lumsden "Dunc" (Wales) - See all my reviews
This was an incredibly daring first movie by Mel Brookes that so nearly never saw the light of day. One of THE great comedy movies, with Zero Mostel and Kenneth Mars turning in unforgettable performances. A film not diminished by time that still sparkles like diamond. Those who know it and love it have watched it countless times, there are of course and those who just don't get it...
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of those films that should be on any list of `must watch before I die'., 29 May 2013
Stephen Reid "Stephen" (Basingstoke) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Producers: 30th Anniversary Edition [DVD] (DVD)
I first saw this gloriously irreverent film when it was shown late one evening on television. The announcer introduced it as `the funniest film ever made'. For some people I reckon it is. It certainly had me staring at the screen open-mouthed, not believing what I was watching, and laughing out loud at the sheer bravura of its bad taste.

I'll try to review this without spoiling it for anyone who hasn't seen the film. A crooked producer and naïve accountant dream up a get-rich-quick scheme: they will raise millions of dollars to stage a show, make it so bad that it closes after the first night, and pocket the money left over. Many investors are promised shares of the revenue: many times more than 100%, but it won't matter, because there won't be any revenue to share.

The producers choose the worst play they can find, the most hopeless director they know and the most useless actors they can audition. The problem is, they unwittingly create an uproarious comedy that is a smash hit. "Where did we go right?" they lament.

On the way the film parodies campness, Swedish liberalism and Nazi-ism. It is the most politically incorrect film ever made ... and all the funnier because it is deliberately so. The middle section, where the show opens, is jaw-droppingly bad taste - as a member of the theatre audience remarks.

Zero Mostel as the lead Producer is brilliant and Gene Wilder (also very good in Blazing Saddles) is superb as the timid accountant. The direction is tight and the acting spot on. I wonder how many retakes there had to be as the actors found it impossible to keep a straight face.

All in all, this is one of those films that should be on any list of `must watch before I die'. There is a later version, also made by Mel Brooks but based on the stage musical. That's very good too, but falls between the two stools of being a film and a filmed play. As is so often the case, the original - this one - is the better of the two. Five stars.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Producers Special Edition, 26 Jun 2009
Stewart K. Potter (Scotland) - See all my reviews
'The Producers' was Mel Brooks' first and by far funniest film. It was
also the film debut of the wondeful Gene Wilder. These two incredibly
energetic, and simply funny, charaters were supplemented by the addition
of the remarkable Zero Mostel; one of film's greatest characters in real
life as well as on film. Add all this along with the great storyline of
realising that a flop could make more money than a success, they find the
worst script they could imagine - 'Springtime for Hitler.' This is made
even more hilarious by the fact that Mel Brooks and Gene Wilder are so
obviously Jewish, and we have the setting to make the Nazis laughed at
into oblivion. As Mel Brooks says in the 'extras' on this two-disc
"the best way to deal with the Nazis is to laugh at them and ridicule them
into oblivion." I'm paraphrasing, but I'm sure you get the gist. Some
folk may be rightly deeply offended by the whole premise, but when you see
the actors cast as the devils of the Nazi regime, they are made to look
preposterous and ridiculous. For me, this has always been the funniest
film ever made, and certainly Mel Brooks never bettered it. Do not make
the mistake of mixing this with the stage eversion; they are two entirely
differrent entities. Laugh your bollocks off at the Nazis and marvel at
the histrionics and utterly irreverant ironies, and you can never fail to
love this, the pinnacle of comedy.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant, 5 May 2014
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This review is from: The Producers: 30th Anniversary Edition [DVD] (DVD)
Great actors, clever satire which is also very funny. Much, much better than the recent, truly awful remake. Zero Mostel is the Broadway producer who has seen better days, while Gene Wilder as the neurotic accountant is perfect. Enjoy.
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