The Producers Movie Review

Mel Brooks' directorial debut occurred in 1968. It was his gift to the world. And, you might ask, what was his gift originally titled? Springtime for Hitler. Springtime for Hitler, re-titled The Producers (probably for reasons of political correctness, which the film appears not to give a damn about), was a movie about two theatre producers who take it upon themselves to make a fortune off of a flop.

This unlikely scam features the seduction of old ladies for financing, the purchasing of a script titled: "Springtime for Hitler: A Musical Romp with Adolf and Eva", the hiring of the worst director and actor possible, and, of course, setting it all to music.

The best way to characterize this film is as a charicature of Hilter as a cheaply-drawn cartoon with his pants down around his ankles singing at the top of his lungs. It is both that striking, that immature, and that funny. Zero Mostel, although not giving a great performance, does his best with the role offerred to him and excels in it, as does Gene Wilder, who plays and accountant-turned-producer with as much neuroses as Woody Allen.

The film doesn't have speed to it: it lumbers along, taking it's time to get to punchlines which strike the viewer as perfectly delivered. Instead of speed it has a brilliant script, filled with jokes and quips and wittiness and turned out by Mel Brooks himself, allowing us all to view his genius at an early stage.

I don't normally watch films from the sixties: I don't make an effort not to watch them, but I don't go out of my way for them, either. This film, however, was recommended to me by a friend and I, in turn, recommend it to you. It's childlike in its silliness, adult in its message of how utterly idiotic starting WWII was, and downright brilliant besides. This film, like Casablanca, Citizen Kane, Touch of Evil, and Gone with the Wind is worth going out of your way for.

It won the 1968 Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay, and wins my respect for the way the lines are delievered. Gene Wilder's most memorable moment is when he goes into hysterics, holding his blankie (literally) and delivering the line "I'm hysterical! I'm hysterical, I'm hysterical, I'm hysterical!" when water is put in his face he pauses for a moment and screams and says, "I'm wet and I'm still hysterical! I'm hysterical and I'm wet!" When he is then slapped he screams again and says, "I'm wet, I'm hysterical, and I'm in pain!"

Mel Brooks has always delivered a strange mix of message and humor (with the exception of Robin Hood: Men in Tights and Dracula: Dead and Loving It, which simply delivered humor), and it is prevalent in this film. He uses this opportunity to make fun of Hitler and Nazism in general, as well as, without once mentioning Hollywood, the strange system that exists in the City of Lights.

Sure, you see films like Get Shorty and The Player and The End of Violence, set in Hollywood and dealing with producers, and you know it's a satire of the system, but, when you watch The Producers, it's not the first thing that occurs to you. It is, like message should be in all good films, hidden just beneath the surface. Having the director being sure that he's funny and having the producers butter him up for directing a flop... picking an actor who does good by mistake. It has gumption to be this subversive, and is all the more lovable for that.

As I've said: it came recommended, I'm sending it off recommended.

The long-awaited DVD features a hilarious making-of documentary (complete with a present-day Ulla recreating her "go to work" go-go dance), photos, trailers, and far more. You'll even find snippets from the movie's looping sessions buried on the disc (they aren't hard to find). Highly, highly recommended.

Cast & Crew

Director :

Producer :

Comments

The Producers Rating

" Extraordinary "

Rating: PG, 1968

Advertisement

Editors Recommendations

Dark Drama 'The Riot Club' Is Never Dull, But Lacks Bite

The Riot Club, formerly known as 'Posh' and based on Laura Wade's 2010 play...

Dark Drama 'The Riot Club' Is Never Dull, But Lacks Bite

Aphex Twin - Syro Album Review

If you're even remotely into electronic music, then you are more than likely to know who Aphex Twin is. After becoming...

Aphex Twin - Syro Album Review

Game of Thrones' Maisie Williams Set for Channel 4 'Cyber Bullying' Drama

Maisie Williams, best known for playing Arya Stark in HBO's Game of Thrones...

Game of Thrones' Maisie Williams Set for Channel 4 'Cyber Bullying' Drama

Reaper - Trailer

The Reaper (Mike Michaels) was formerly an ordained minister before embarking on a rampant killing spree with...

Reaper Trailer

Adam Duritz Of Counting Crows Talks Of Liberation, Fun And Childhood Fascinations

Counting Crows have delighted us with their first album release since...

Adam Duritz Of Counting Crows Talks Of Liberation, Fun And Childhood Fascinations

Ringo Deathstarr - Live Review

The Sabotage Club in Lisboa has all the trappings of the typical toilet circuit venue, if you were to disregard a decade...

Ringo Deathstarr supported by The Telescopes, NAAM,  11th September 2014, Lisboa Sabotage Club Live Review

'X-Men: Deadpool' Set For 2016, Ryan Reynolds Likely to Star

X-Men: Deadpool, a project that has long been in development for Twentieth...

'X-Men: Deadpool' Set For 2016, Ryan Reynolds Likely to Star

Ben Whishaw Lands Starring Role in BBC Thriller 'London Spy'

Ben Whishaw, the British actor who played Q in Skyfall and who portray the...

Ben Whishaw Lands Starring Role in BBC Thriller 'London Spy'

Dolly Parton - Blue Smoke: The Best of Dolly Parton Album Review

Dolly Parton is an international treasure - and a rare breed, at that. She is a...

Dolly Parton - Blue Smoke: The Best of Dolly Parton Album Review
Advertisement