Film Reviews, Short Review

The Producers (1968)


Truth be told, whilst I appreciate Mel Brooks’ place in the pantheon of American comedy writing and filmmaking, I’ve never been that enamoured about his films. The original version of The Producers is much the same. The premise, about a producer and an accountant (Zero Mostel and a fresh-faced Gene Wilder respectively) teaming up to make money out of a surefire bad-taste Broadway flop, is superb, and there are some genius one-liners (“will the dancing Hitlers please wait in the wings”). Yet, significant sections of Brooks’ first feature have dated badly in the almost 50 years since, and the perpetual hysterical mugging at the camera does come across as being desperate to please instead of endearing; a shame considering how tight some of the writing is. Still though, singing Hitlers.


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