Directed by Mel Brooks
Running time: 88 minutes
One of Mel Brooks' funniest movies, The Producers (1968) is a satirical comedy about the entertainment business, telling the story of “two schnooks on Broadway” who set out to produce a surefire flop. Inspired by the characters that Brooks met in his early showbiz days, and written by Brooks himself, it stars Zero Mostel and Gene Wilder in stand-out performances. Max Bialystock (Mostel) is a sleazy opportunist and ageing producer who sets out with wide-eyed dreamer accountant Leo Bloom (Wilder) to produce a really terrible play. Brooks had decided that its subject would have to be one that “would have people packing up and leaving the theatre even before the first act is over”, and decided on a bad-taste musical about Hitler (the lightheartedly titled Springtime for Hitler: A Gay Romp with Adolf and Eva at Berchtesgaden). The crooks borrow more money from investors than they can repay and plan to abscond to Brazil as soon as it closes but, despite hiring the worst director and lead actor they can find, their plan goes awry. Outrageous, groundbreaking and still funny, The Producers won Brooks an Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay and was selected for preservation in the National Film Registry.
Reservation is not necessary, but places are limited. Please arrive early to avoid disappointment.