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Nathan Lane and Matthew Broderick return to their award-winning roles in the hilariously funny film of the record-breaking Broadway smash-hit. Scheming producer Max Bialystock (Lane) and his mousy accountant, Leo Bloom (Broderick), discover that under the right circumstances they could make more money by producing a Broadway flop than they can with a hit. But what will they do when their sure-to-offend musical becomes a surprise sensation? Co-starring sexy Uma Thurman and comedy genius Will Ferrell, The Producers is a fun-filled, side-splitting comedy.
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If you are a big live theater fan, you will probably want this movie for your collection even with it's flaws. It can tide you over until you find a community theater group putting on the live production, allowing you to enjoy the show the way it was meant to be seen.
Who else but Mel Brooks can come up with the idea that if you "mess with the books" you can become rich? The idea itself is genius but it only works through Nathan Lane and Matthew Broderick the only two people who could play these characters.
Lucky for us, they agreed to appear in the movie version which, if you've seen the show on Broadway, is exactly the same with a few differences.
One of the most funny bits in the film is with the song: Springtime for Hitler in which a gay Hitler goes off on a romp about WWII. Keep in mind, Mel Brooks, a Jew, went through the war and the fact that he's making fun of Hitler, albeit making him gay, is jilarious unto itself. Imagine what would have been if he really was gay. Another song that stands out, is Prisoners of Love where Max and Leo get released because the judge says all inmates have been rehabilitated through dance and song. Unrealistic? Yes but hysterical.
There's one line in the film that will make you laugh like you never have before said by Hanz Libkind, played in the film by a perfectly cast Will Ferrell, who says with a gun pointing at Max and Leo, " This is for making a fool out of Hitler." Max blurts back: He didn't need our help." A line sure to be a classic.
Surprisingly, this movie didn't do well in theaters but now that it's out on DVD, it has a better chance to become the hit it should have been. It's a film that's better then the original and will be cherished by all.
Those who saw the original movie will recall the audience reaction during the opening scene of Springtime for Hitler. Open mouth disgust! I experienced the same open mouth horror watching the opening scene in Bialystock's office. Matthew Brodericks acting was terrible. He was dry and wooden - not even close to Gene Wilder's fantastic performance.
Nathan Lane however, was excellent as Bialystock. Indeed, I think he could have replaced Zero in the original and it still would have come off as a great movie, even without Zero's bug eyes and booming voice.
Some of the other character actors and scenes in this production are better than the original. Will Ferrell as Franz Liebkind was a good as Kenneth Mars, but with different scenes and dialog. The actors Gary Beach as the director, and Roger Bart as his assistant, were much better cast than the original. Some of their scenes will have you roaring with laughter.
As Mel Brooks movies go, the original with Zero and Wilder is 5+ stars. This movie is tough to rate, but I will give it 3 stars. Nathan Lane's performance, some new material, and the added bonus and outtakes make the disk worth having. For six bucks, add it to your collection and make your own judgement.
Talent everywhere! You will want to watch this more than once.