THE PRODUCERS
1968, Rialto Pictures, 88 min, USA, Dir: Mel Brooks

Mel Brooks’ directorial debut is one of his finest, and it won him the Oscar for Best Original Screenplay. This outrageous look at two Broadway producers - conniving con man Zero Mostel and sheepish, going-along-for-the-ride Gene Wilder (nominated for Best Supporting Actor) - deciding to get rich by selling shares in what they believe will be a guaranteed flop is certainly one of the funniest comedies of the 1960s. The pair’s production “Springtime for Hitler” (“Don’t be stupid, be a smarty! Come and join the Nazi party!”) inadvertently becomes a so-bad-it’s-good hit, and their grandiose designs on big-time wealth comically crumble. Watch for Dick Shawn as acid-casualty actor LSD, who becomes a surprise star as the jive-talking Führer, and Kenneth Mars as the humorless, ex-German soldier playwright.


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