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Scott Ventura >> Movie Commentary >> September 2001 >> The Producers

The Producers

Movie Commentary by Scott Ventura


Scott's Rating:
4 / 5
Times Seen:
Viewing Date:
September 2001
IMDB Name:
Producers, The (1968)
Mel Brooks
comedy, musical
MPAA Rating:
Unrated (predates MPAA ratings)


Mel Brooks charged into the cinematic arena with his debut film, The Producers. This movie was so extreme that it still manages to feel edgy more than thirty years later. The opening scenes of "Springtime for Hitler" are still astonishing because they are at one level a display of utter tastelessness. At another level, they are a magnificent parody of American musicals wrapped around a decidedly unlikely story. The Bialystock & Bloom enterprise, with the outrageous supporting cast, provides its own terrific entertainment leading up to the big show.

The characters are pushed to the limits of believability in a way that makes them charming and frightening at the same time. Zero Mostel and Gene Wilder are so exuberant in their displays of hysteria that it's a miracle they didn't have heart attacks playing the parts. Mostel can rampage with the best of them, and his willingness to be seen with that ridiculous comb-over, especially in close-up still shots, is both endearing and hilarious. Christopher Hewett, who I'm horrified to discover went on to be the title character in "Mr. Belvedere", and Andréas Voutsinas take the cake for playing crazy in some scenes that probably seemed a bit mroe uncomfortable to a mainstream audience in 1968.

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Copyright 2001-2002 by Scott Ventura. All rights reserved.