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The Producers (1968)

The Producers (1968)


Zero Mostel
Gene Wilder

Directed by Mel Brooks

The first 14 minutes of this film is total rubbish, in fact it can discourage you from seeing the whole movie through (1hour 29 minutes). But the moment Leo Bloom (Gene Wilder) acts out when Max Bialystock (Zero Mostel) touched his blue blanket, I sat back down and concentrated to see what makes this 1968 film a comedy classic.

Rated 11th in AFI’s 100 Years… 100 Laughs, this comedy masterpiece was not well received during its tenure and itself was a flop, which ironically was what the movie plot was about. The movie is about making a Broadway production for $1 million dollars which will be a financial flop.
Now guess what the movie budget was? $941,000 almost a million.

This movie was written and directed by Mel Brooks, and it signifies his directorial debut. He later won in that same year an Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay.

I’m more familiar with Wilder based on his latter movies, but here was my first time seeing Zero Mostel on screen, and although he was good, Wilder seemed to have been better at his job than he.

The movie starts by introducing Mr. Bialystock a flimsy womanizer who sleeps with elderly women so as to raise funds for his plays. He is greeted in his office by an Accountant named Leo Bloom, who discovers that Bialystock had made a failed play and still got away with $2,000.

Bloom going through Max’s books and wanting to help him hide the $2,000 he stole from his investors after Max begged and convinced him to, thought out loud a scheme that can make millions.
The scheme was to raise $1 million dollars for a $60,000 play, but not making any of the investors aware of the presence of another. Then sell shares to each of them, and in the end when the play flops and no money is made, the investors get nothing.

Max hears this scheme and convinces Leo that they can pull it off, even after Leo warns that it can backfire and send them to jail for fraud.

Bialystock and Bloom, start a production company, pick the worst script they could find which was written by a mentally unstable man, got the worst director they could find and loaded the play with the worst actors there is.

They now sold shares of the play’s profit to investors, to some they sold 100%, some 50% and the rest 25% totaling a sale of 25,000% of what should just be a 100%.

Now that they have done everything wrong, they believe that nothing could go right with the play and make it a hit.

This movie is indeed very funny and the music is exceptional, I will have this in my archive and I think you should too.


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