NEW FACES
1954, 98 min, USA, Dir: Harry Horner, John Beal

A young Mel Brooks got one of his first writing credits on this film of the hit Broadway revue about a producer trying to keep his stage show alive. It features a series of dynamic musical performances from Robert Clary and Eartha Kitt, and hilarious sketches with Ronny Graham, Alice Ghostly and Paul Lynde (who also shares writing duties).


SPACEBALLS
1987, MGM/Park Circus, 96 min, USA, Dir: Mel Brooks

“May the schwartz be with you.” Bill Pullman, John Candy and Rick Moranis head up the cast in Mel Brooks' hilarious riff on STAR WARS, which is as much a satire on that movie's impact on the film industry (with particularly sly jabs at corporate merchandising) as it is on STAR WARS itself. Brooks is a riot in two roles (including the Yoda-inspired "Yoghurt"), with diminutive Rick Moranis marching around as “Dark Helmet,” Dom DeLuise voicing the pepperoni-and-cheese blob Pizza the Hut, and Daphne Zuniga rounds out the cast in the Princess Leia part (here, Princess Vespa).


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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