Tuesday, May 21, 2013

The Producers (1968)

Yes, there is a musical based on this movie, and it's hilarious.  But I'm reviewing the original film, made in 1968. Gene Wilder is so funny in every movie he's in, and Zero Mostel is a treat.  They play a producer and an accountant, Max and Leo, who discover they can make a lot of money. They gather lots of money from old ladies to produce a play that's guaranteed to fail, and take all the money lost and keep it! I'm not an accountant so I'm not sure exactly how that works. But I know it can't end well.

They spend hours reading through bad plays and are about to give up.  Some plays are tasteless, crass, and weird. But they come across a gem that's sure to give them everything they want. It's a musical...

...About Nazis.  There is no way we can sympathize with the characters, the story is completely uninteresting, and I would pay money not to watch it. The musical they chose is called Caberet.

I'm just kidding - it's Springtime for Hitler.  Max and Leo choose everything bad in order to guarantee the show fails. However, if you combine a bad director, bad actors, bad everything, what do you get? Something along the lines of a B-movie, something so terrible that it's awesome.

The audience finds the musical hilarious, and it turns out to be a big hit. So Max and Leo will have to pay their backers. Oh no! Now they will be exposed for the fraudulent ways.  So they'll have to go to jail. 

Lesson learned: don't create elaborate schemes to obtain money because you will ultimately fail. Not necessarily a lesson for everyday life, but it is still worth learning. I'm giving this movie a 7/10.

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