The Producers (1968)

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A neurotic accountant is conned by a seedy small time producer into helping him create a surefire Broadway flop to cheat their backers out of their money.

Mel Brooks is best known for his scattershot genre spoofs, but The Producers is far more of an old school farce in the sixties tradition. The film is dominated by Zero Mostel as Max Bialystock, the bastard child of Groucho Marx and Margaret Dumont and every moment he is on the screen is comedy gold; particularly with Wilder as his straight man and they make a wonderful comic double act. But by far the most hysterical moment of the film is the opening number of “Springtime For Hitler” which still makes me roar with laughter every time! Much of the film that does not involve Mostel is rather dated – Dick Shawn’s contribution in particular – and whenever he is not on the screen it feels like time wasted, but it’s worth the time for his play’s title song alone.

This film and Blazing Saddles basically justify the existence of every turkey Brooks has made since.

6.5/10

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