If you enjoyed the big screen musicals made during the Golden Age of Cinema, you'll love The Producers.
The Producers Plot
When accountant Leo Bloom (Matthew Broderick) audits the books of down-on-his-luck Max Bialystock (Nathan Lane), he stumbles on an interesting theory. According to his experience, a bad show can feasibly be more lucrative to the producer than a hit and the IRS would be less likely to audit his books.
This is where the hilarity really begins.
After a soul searching musical number, complete with chorus girls who tower over him, Leo Bloom decides to give up his boring life as a numbers man and joins Max in the quest for the worst show ever written.
Enters Franz Liebkind (Will Ferrell) as a psychotic Nazi with a musical tribute to Hitler, aptly titled Springtime for Hitler. It's irreverent. It's amazingly bad. It's perfect! A sure fired show stopper before the end of the first act. As if a musical about Hitler is not bad enough, they set out to hire the worse director in the world, the insanely flamboyant Roger DeBris (Gary Beach) and his merry band of gay men.
Of course, nothing goes according to plan. Between the leggy Swedish Ulla's (Uma Thurman) stunning performance, the totally ridiculous costuming, and DeBris in the role of Hitler, the audience can't take it seriously and the producers fail by succeeding.
What Do You Expect from Mel Brooks?
Written by Mel Brooks for the stage in 1968, The Producers transcends to movies seamlessly. As with some of his other timeless comic successes such as Robin Hood: Men in Tights, Spaceballs, Young Frankenstein, and Blazing Saddles, this movie will be one of those that generations will be sharing together for decades to come. Its appeal to the 13-year-old boy is as great as it is with the 80-year-old grandmother.
This Remake Works
What is more impressive is this movie is a remake of the Zero Mostel and Gene Wilder film by the same name, and yet people who have seen both rave that Lane and Broderick have actually done justice to the characters-they should considering how much practice they have had bring the Max and Leo characters to life on stage. So often, remakes fall so short of the originals.
Matthew Broderick Fans
For anyone who grew up in the '80, you are probably most familiar with Matthew Broderick as the infamous Ferris Bueller of Ferris Bueller's Day Off. Since then, he has gone to accumulate around 40 film credits and multiple stage credits. His acting credits include:
- The Stepford Wives
- Inspector Gadget
- Biloxi Blues
The Producers received mixed reviews in the press. They received few award nominations and no wins, and yet it is probably one of the best comedies made in 2005 and the best musical. It brought back memories of Ziegfeld Follies, Duck Soup, and On the Town.
Movie and Crew Trivia
- Both Broderick and Nathan Lane received a Tony nomination for their stage performances in The Producers. Broderick lost the award to Lane.
- Matthew Broderick is married to Sarah Jessica Parker of Sex in the City fame.
- Nicole Kidman was originally asked to play the role of Ulla.
- Lane and Broderick were awarded a joint star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2006.