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The Producers

Comedy movie directed by Susan Stroman

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  • Nov 1, 2008
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Max Bialystock (Nathan Lane) is a loser as a Broadway producer, but his accountant Leo Bloom (Matthew Broderick) helps him come with up with a plan to produce the worst show ever on the Great White Way, one they know will close after only one performance, and then abscond with the money they raised. The show they're sure will bomb is called "Springtime for Hitler."

Based on Mel Brooks' Broadway musical that was based on his non-musical movie, this is pretty much a filmed stage play starring the play's two leads, Lane and Broderick. I like Nathan Lane, but this is too much of a good thing; he's too loud, too mincing, and too broad and is exhausting to watch. Broderick is full of wide-eyed, Ferris Bueller-charm and likeability, but he is tiresome after a while, too. Will Farrell was completely awful as the Nazi-loving playwright and really ruined the show for me. All the dialogue is SHOUTED as if they're still trying to reach the last row of the balcony and they all seem so enamored of themselves and their material that it's off-putting.

I liked the original Producers back in 1968, which was nutty and wacky and funny; this time around, the movie is too big for the big screen. I grew weary and wanted it to end. I can certainly see how charming Lane and Broderick would be on the stage, especially if you're seated 100 feet from them. They're adorable and talented and the story is funny; it just doesn't work on the screen.
The Producers The Producers

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Quick Tip by . November 06, 2010
Why god, Why did you let these people do a remake of a classic film? I have a great deal of respect for all of the actors in this film... but how they managed to have the combination of hubris, lack of judgment, and gullibility it would take to think they could do a decent *musical, no less* re-make of the classic gene wilder/zero mostel film is beyond me.
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The trend is to convertmovies into stage musicals, butThe Producersgoes a step further: making a feature film of the smash-hitstage musicalthat was adapted from the1968 film. The chief drawing card, of course, is Nathan Lane and Matthew Broderick reprising their roles from the stage. Lane plays Max Bialystock, a legendary Broadway producer who hasn't had a hit show in a long time. Enter nebbish accountant Leo Bloom (Broderick), who tells Bialystock he could actually make more money with a flop than a hit. So the two set out to produce the worst Broadway musical of all time, one guaranteed to close on opening night, with the collaboration of an outrageous cast of characters: Will Ferrell as sieg heil-ing author Franz Liebkind, Uma Thurman as Swedish bombshell Ulla, Gary Beach as director Roger De Bris, and Roger Bart as his assistant, Carmen Ghia, among others.

As directed and choreographed by Susan Stroman (who did the same honors on Broadway) and co-written by Mel Brooks, The Producers is laugh-out-loud funny. It's also a relentlessly over-the-top, shamelessly bawdy, stereotype-ridden comedy that may turn off its audience just as much as its centerpiece, Springtime for Hitler, was intended to. But Broadway fans who are used to larger-than-life figures who play to the back row while showering the first row with spit, are likely to forgive and just enjoy the famous granny-walker dance, a supporting cast dotted with Broadway performers (playing a taxi driver is Brad ...

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