Evelyn GoughIn the Picture

The Producers (M)

Directed by Susan Stroman

Im a huge fan of Mel Brooks, in fact two of his films are on my personal top 10 all time favourite movies list Young Frankenstein and his Oscar-winning 1968 comedy smash The Producers. Both star Gene Wilder and both are comedy masterpieces.

So it was with some trepidation that I decided to review this adaptation of the Broadway hit musical The Producers, which is based on the original film. Brooks took his movie and added a lot more song and dance numbers and the resulting stage show was a worldwide smash hit, so he then decided to turn it back into a movie. Make sense?

For this big screen adaptation he got the Tony Award-winning stars, Nathan Lane and Matthew Broderick, to recreate their roles as shonky producer Max Bialystock and neurotic accountant Leo Bloom. He then bought in Hollywood heavyweights Uma Thurman and Will Ferrell to play sexy Swedish secretary Ulla and crazy Nazi playwright Franz Liebkind. And the result? Over two hours of musical mayhem and mirth as Max (Nathan Lane) and Leo (Matthew Broderick) set out to produce a massive flop and in the process embezzle millions. But first they have to find the worst play ever written and boy, do they discover the mother load! Springtime for Hitler A Gay Romp with Adolf and Eva in Berchesgarten.

Now all they need is to hire the worst director ever, the hugely untalented Roger De Bris (Roger Bart) and the show is guaranteed to close immediately!

If you havent seen the original 1968 film (and not many people have) and you adore musicals then youll love this film. And theres a lot to like. Its over-the-top and wacky with great performances, particularly from Nathan Lane. As a stage show it would have been fantastic.

Im afraid Im too enamoured with the original movie to be truly objective but this musical romp is still a lot of fun, especially Adolf the pigeon.


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