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The Producers (1968) Review


Extraordinary
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.

Continue reading: The Producers (1968) Review

Panic in the Streets Review


Excellent
In swampy New Orleans, a harried government health officer (Richard Widmark) tracks down two thieves (the inimitable Jack Palance and Zero Mostel) who are carrying a form of bubonic plague. A series of encounters lead our hero closer to the duo while facing increasing resistance from every side -- as no one wants the titular panic in the streets. Noir has been grittier (Mostel lends an inevitable humor to everything he touches), but this comparably early Elia Kazan movie indicates just how prodigious his talents behind the camera could be.

The Producers Review


Extraordinary
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.

Continue reading: The Producers Review

A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Forum Review


OK
My personal hero Zero Mostel is not as his best here in the adaptation of the inexplicably popular stage play, the only musical comedy to come out of ancient Rome. The action centers on Mostel's slave Pseudolus and his relationship with Michael Crawford's wealthy teen Hero. Pseudolus wants to be free, Hero wants the hand of the concubine next door. A plot is hatched, and many tunes are belted out. Unfortunately, most of Stephen Sondheim's best songs must have been left in Venice, so if you can sit through junk like "Everybody Ought to Have a Maid," you should be able to make it to A Funny Thing's funnier moments. Buster Keaton's final performance.
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