Combustible Celluloid
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With: Zero Mostel, Gene Wilder, Kenneth Mars, Estelle Winwood, Lee Meredith
Written by: Mel Brooks
Directed by: Mel Brooks
MPAA Rating: PG
Running Time: 88
Date: 03/17/1968

The Producers (1968)

3 1/2 Stars (out of 4)


By Jeffrey M. Anderson

Mel Brooks' feature writing and directing debut remains scathingly hysterical and features brilliant performances by Zero Mostel and Gene Wilder. If you loved the new musical, you owe it to yourself to see this. Mostel plays a broke Broadway producer (with a cardboard belt) who, along with his meek new accountant (Wilder), cooks up a scheme to put on the biggest flop in history and simply keep the financial backing. The result: "Springtime for Hitler." Dick Shawn plays the crazy director and Kenneth Mars plays the neo-Nazi playwright. Brooks won an Oscar for Best Original Screenplay. "I'm wet! And I'm still hysterical!"

In 2021, Kino Lorber released this film on a glorious new Blu-ray edition (along with a new DVD). The film looks and sounds impossibly good (it's a new 4K transfer). Bonuses include a new commentary track by filmmaker/historian Michael Schlesinger, a feature-length making-of documentary, an outtake, a sketch gallery, Peter Sellers' take on the film read by Paul Mazursky, a radio spot, and a batch of trailers. There are also optional English subtitles. Brooks's Spaceballs was released the same week.

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