35 of 36 people found the following review helpful
on 24 March 2002
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
44 of 46 people found the following review helpful
on 2 November 2004
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.
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on 6 January 2003
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.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
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.
14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on 2 October 2006
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.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
This 1968 film debut for writer-director Mel Brooks remains (for me) one of his funniest works (surpassed only by Young Frankenstein) and, whilst being obviously a little dated in parts, still ranks as one of Hollywood's funniest satires, courtesy of two great comic performances by Zero Mostel and Gene Wilder. Of course, underlying these performances is a great script (a mix of hilarious one-liners and camp slapstick) by Brooks, but it is the brilliant comic acting of Brooks' two stars (whose facial expressions are a source of never-ending fascination and mirth) that raises The Producers to the level of 'comic genius'.
In addition, there is, of course, the film's infectious soundtrack, in particular the theme for their intended 'flop' musical Springtime For Hitler, which accompanies the film's innovative opening titles, as we're introduced to Mostel's failing theatre producer Max Bialystock and his penchant for seducing 'little old ladies' in order to extract money for investing in his productions. Mostel is both hilarious and creepy as the conniving showbiz man (intense stares and 'Bobby Charlton sweep' to boot) as he persuades Wilder's nervy, stuttering accountant Leo Bloom that together the two can become rich by 'overselling' an intended flop musical. For me, it is this first half-hour or so of Brooks' film where it achieves its real magic, as Max bemoans his lot ('I'm wearing a cardboard belt!'), with many great lines ('Shut up. I'm having a rhetorical conversation') and the odd quip direct to camera, whilst Wilder's Leo does his (literally) hysterical 'blue blanket routine', before they hit on their 'perfect flop' - a 'gay romp with Adolf and Eva at Berchtesgaden'.
Thereafter, Brooks' film enters real camp territory (in its undoubtedly wide circle of influence, here I'm detecting a mix of Cabaret and The Rocky Horror Show) as the now partnership of Bialystock & Bloom track down Kenneth Mars' German army helmet-wearing author of Springtime For Hitler, Franz Liebkind ('I only followed orders'), and recruit each of Christopher Hewett's 'mincing' theatre director, Roger De Bris and, as their rather gratuitous receptionist, the disco-dancing, skimpily-dressed, heavily-accented Swede Ulla (played by Lee Meridith). Things really hit (an intentional) rock bottom as they audition (from a stage-full of Sieg Heiling Hitlers) Dick Shawn's 'groovy hippy dude' Lorenzo St DuBois (LSD) fronting a hilariously enthusiastic flower-power girl backing band.
Once the fated production finally hits the stage, Brooks' film demonstrates its truly high class production values, as Springtime For Hitler is belted out, accompanied by high-stepping cabaret girls in stormtrooper uniforms and the dancers arrange themselves into a swastika formation. Of course, things unexpectedly go from failure ('Talk about bad taste!') to success, prompting Max to lament, 'Where did I go right?'. Leaving just enough time for Wilder's Leo to deliver a fitting, hilariously poignant court-room plea on Max's behalf, rounding off nicely Brooks' marvellously exuberant creation.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
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.
43 of 48 people found the following review helpful
on 28 December 2004
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.
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on 8 May 2009
This was my first brush with Gene Wilder and since then have collected all his films and also all Mel Brookes.I only saw bits here and there and one day sat down in front of the square god bored and fed up with all the garbage we are expected to watch called entertainment.Then I noticed a film due to start and that was it.From start to finish I was hooked and sat through the film laughing my head off to the point my mate next door came in to find me with tears pouring down my face,choking with laughter and holding my sides.It is such a great film in the original but so/so in the remake,we suffer from the disease of REMAKERITIS,its when a studio cannot come up with a good film idea and decide to take a good film rip the guts out of it and remake it,and it BOMBS.This makes almost everyone pass by the original which is a shame.Well this film is mad and very funny Zero is great and Gene,well is Gene.The twisted mind who devised this plot to make a bundle the meek mouse drawn in to the web and from then on all kinds of nutcase characters are drawn into the maw of monster to be spat out in one big pile of total opposites and labelled,SPRINGTIME FOR HITLER.I wish I could have got tickets to see that show,I could have vorn mein uniform unt mien boots unt zen ze vorld vill zee das "!&* (*+^!...Sorry bout that got carried away.Anyway the plot is lunatic the cast are lunatics,and its all lunatic,which makes a GREAT FILM and a funny one as well,if you see it enjoy it to the full,if you don`t well all I can say is you will miss a good funny film.
20 of 22 people found the following review helpful
on 2 December 2004
Fantastic to finally get this on DVD. Having worn out two copies of the video of this firm I am happy to confirm that this film is 100% complete and contrary to other reviews has not been cut in any way.