- Actors: Zero Mostel, Gene Wilder, Kenneth Mars, Dick Shawn, Lee Meredith
- Directors: Mel Brooks
- Producers: John Morris
- Format: PAL
- Language: English
- Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 1.85:1
- Number of discs: 1
- Classification: PG
- Studio: Studiocanal
- DVD Release Date: 25 Aug. 2008
- Run Time: 84 minutes
- Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars See all reviews (146 customer reviews)
- ASIN: B0019GJ4HO
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 3,005 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)
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The Producers: 30th Anniversary Edition [DVD]
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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.
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 --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top customer reviews
This film is a case in point. I remember watching on TV and rolling about. Watching it now, there are places that make you chuckle, but others that make you wince, they are so bad.
It is worth watching, but if you first wat he'd it in your youth, don't be surprised if you are left feeling a little disappointed.
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
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.