And after that, we'll
play, "The Abduction and the Cruel Rape of Lucretia", and I'll
...And I’ll be rape.
This pin used to hold a
pearl the size of your eye. Look at me now,
LOOK AT ME NOW!
I'm wearing a cardboard belt!
Hitler" a gay romp with Adolf and Eva at Berchtesgaden... Wow!
...Are you kidding? This
play's guaranteed to close on PAGE FOUR!
Max Bialystock is
launching himself into little old lady land.
Don't be stupid, be a
smarty. Come and join the Nazi party.
How could this happen? I
was so careful.
There’s not a
doubt in my mind, THE PRODUCERS ($30) is one of the funniest
movies ever made. This debut film from writer/director Mel Brooks
garnered the comedy legend his only Oscar, but Brooks still had several
decades worth of hilarity to lay on movie fans. While later films like YOUNG
FRANKENSTEIN and BLAZING SADDLES may have garnered greater
recognition from fans during Brooks’ movie career, THE PRODUCERS
clearly remains his finest artistic achievement in the cinema. That is
probably why I wasn't surprise when Brooks decided to revisit THE
PRODUCERS, and adapt this zany comic gem for the stage, where it
became one of the most critically acclaimed Broadway musicals of all
The plot of THE
PRODUCERS concerns a down-on-his-luck Broadway producer named Max
Bialystock (Zero Mostel), who has taken to romancing little old ladies
as a means keeping his head above water. Into the quagmire of Max’s
existence comes a neurotic accountant named Leo Bloom (Gene Wilder), who
is required to audit the books of the producer’s last Broadway flop.
While going over the books, Leo discovers that Max actually raised
$2,000.00 more than the production actually cost and was able to pocket
the difference. It is at this point, that Leo makes the passing comment
that a producer could theoretically make more money with a flop, than he
could with a hit.
signs before his eyes, Max hatches a scheme to produce a surefire flop
and head off to Rio with a small fortune in investor money. In his quest
to produce the mother of all Broadway flops, Max selects Springtime
For Hitler, a love letter to Der Fuhrer by demented former
German soldier Franz Liebkind (Kenneth Mars)- a play that Max guarantees
will close on page four. Of course, Max isn’t taking any chances with
his flop, so he hires Roger De Bris (Christopher Hewett), the worst
possible director, who wants to turn the show into a tasteless, gaudy
musical extravaganza. On top of all that, Max casts a spaced out flower
child with the moniker LSD (Dick Shawn) in the lead role of Adolph
Hitler. The loopy cast of THE PRODUCERS also includes a hilarious
turn from Estelle Winwood as the most notablr old lady in Max's stable,
plus Renée Taylor, Lee Meredith and Andréas Voutsinas.
(via MGM Home Entertainment) has made THE PRODUCERS available on
Blu-ray Disc in a 1.85:1 aspect ratio presentation that has been encoded
onto the disc with the AVC codec. For a modest 1968 production, THE
PRODUCERS looks quite spry on Blu-ray; and let me add that this is
the absolute best THE PRODUCERS has ever looked in the home
venue. For the most part, the image is crisp, displaying the kind of
visual detail one would expect from a production of this vintage. Close
ups and medium shots contain the most visual detail; while longer shots
come off as a tad softer. It is the close-ups that really impress; as
they highlight the clarity and visual richness of the high definition
master used for this Blu-ray release. Optical effects, fades and
dissolves are a limiting factor, as they involve dupey elements that are
noticeably softer than unprocessed principle photography. Colors look
really nice; displaying very good saturation and correct looking flesh
tones. Contrast is also quite nice, and shadow detail is right on par
for this type of late 1960's film production. The elements from which THE
PRODUCERS has been transferred are relatively free from signs of
age, with only the mildest of blemishes remaining. Glorious grain is
ever present, but always on the mild side.
is presented on Blu-ray Disc with a 5.1 channel DTS-HD Master Audio
soundtrack. Considering that the original monaural track for THE
PRODUCERS had been repurposed into 5.1 for a previous DVD release,
the DTS-HD rendering sounds even better. For all intents and purposes
the 5.1 channel mix provides a slightly wider presence for the original
monaural recordings, with only a modest sense of directionality. Despite
the limited fidelity of the original recordings, the musical numbers and
the film's score are pleasantly rendered and manage to sound quite
enjoyable when amplified. Dialogue is perfectly reproduced, so one can
understand each and every joke. The soundtrack appears to have been
digitally cleaned to remove all signs of background hiss and surface
noise during the re-mix/re-mastering phase, which is a big plus. The
film's original monaural track is also encoded onto the Blu-ray in PCM
lossless. Subtitles are available in English, French and Spanish.
menus allow one access to the standard scene selection and set up
features, as well as, the supplements, most of which have been ported
from the DVD release. Starting things off is a sixty-four minute
documentary entitled The Making of The Producers. Produced
for an earlier DVD release, the documentary is presented in "five
acts" and features interviews with writer/director Mel Brooks and
cast members Gene Wilder, Kenneth Mars and Andréas Voutsinas and Lee
Meredith. While I found the program to be both highly entertaining and
informative, the most amazing thing about the documentary is how good
actress Lee Meredith looks more than three decades later- I think this
woman might have been even more gorgeous then, than when she made the
film. Mel And His Movies: The Producers is a new eighteen
minute interview with Mel Brooks, who discusses the film and its
Also included on
the Blu-ray is a Sketch Gallery that offers a look at the
original designs for the film's sets. The Playhouse Outtake
is a deleted scene from the movie, which is rather amusing but would
have slowed the film's pacing in the final act. Peter Sellers
Statement Read By Paul Mazursky offers the actor/director
telling the story of how the late comic genius had taken out full-page
ads in the trades heralding THE PRODUCERS as one of the greatest
screen comedies of all time. The film's Theatrical Trailer
and Bonus Trailers close out the extras.
Even after forty
five years, THE PRODUCERS remains one of the most hilarious
cinematic gems in the Mel Brooks canon... and one of the funniest movies
of all time. The Blu-ray looks wonderful and offers fans a delightful
complement of supplements. Absolutely recommended.
I picked the wrong play... the wrong director...
the wrong cast... Where did I go right?
The Producers (Collector's Edition) [BluRay/DVD Combo] [Blu-ray] (1968)