The Producers - * * * (2005)
Originally posted on 1/8/06
First, a prelude of sorts...
When I was a kid, one of my favorite films to watch over and over on HBO was "History of the World Part 1." I didn't realize then what I know now: There is no one like Mel Brooks. And The Producers is classic Mel Brooks.
The Producers is a very funny movie. But this type of humor is rare these days: one-line zingers, outrageous plot lines and characters, and funny lyrics in the music. As with the best musicals, what I admired most was that the numbers actually moved the plot forward. I thought of Singin' in the Rain a lot as I watched this film, and at one point The Producers pays homage to it ("Gotta Sing Sing!").
The plot is simple. Max Bialystock (Nathan Lane) and Leo Bloom (Matthew Broderick) are Broadway producers who want to put on the worst play in Broadway history; they want a guaranteed flop so they can keep all the money they raised.
They find their stinker all right: "Springtime for Hitler," written by Franz Liebkind (Will Farrell). I rather enjoyed when Franz makes them prove their allegiance to the F�hrer before he'll let them produce his play. First, Franz makes them wear swastikas, then he makes them sing songs, etc.
The movie carries on a little long, but it's all good fun. If you want to laugh and return to the musical film format in all its glory, go see The Producers.