The Producers (2005)

SUSAN STROMAN

Bil’s rating (out of 5):  BBB.  USA, 2005.  Universal Pictures, Columbia Pictures Corporation, Brooksfilms.  Screenplay by , , based on the stage play book by Mel Brooks and Thomas Meehan, and the stage play lyrics by Mel Brooks, from a 1968 screenplay by Mel Brooks.  Cinematography by .  Produced by .  Music by .  Production Design by .  Costume Design by .  Film Editing by .  Golden Globe Awards 2005.  

Toe-tapping adaptation of the enormously popular Broadway musical, based on the Oscar-winning 1968 film by Mel Brooks. Stuffy accountant  shows up at has-been Broadway producer ‘s office to audit his books, and eventually gets suckered into becoming Lane’s producing partner. They discover that a crooked loophole allows them to make more money by producing a flop than a hit, and so search the vault for the most pathetic script they could possibly come up with in an effort to ensure the biggest failure possible. They do, and the result is one of the funniest, darkly humoured parodies ever seen (in either film version): “Springtime For Hitler”, a musical about the glory days of the Third Reich.  Uma Thurman is a delight as Ulla, the sexy Swedish secretary with the legs that go for miles, and she does a more than fine job of hoofing it up and singing her songs. Lane and Broderick seem to still think they’re performing in the play, but that could also be because Susan Stroman’s direction only really comes alive in the musical numbers (she was the original show’s choreographer); the bits where the characters aren’t singing are hopelessly stale. The entire cast is recruited from the original show, with the exception of Thurman and as “Springtime”‘s author, an annoying bit of stunt casting that sticks out like a sore thumb. Great songs, all written by Mel Brooks, and some moments of unleashed hilarity, but not consistent throughout.

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