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Producers, The (1967, Zero Mostel, Gene Wilder)

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Mel Brooks’s received an Oscar for writing this backstage farce, his first feature. Zero Mostel gives a hysterical performance as a Broadway producer who cons old ladies into financing dismal plays he needs to have flop to make his accounting work. Gene Wilder is the mealy-mouthed accountant he hires to cover his financing. The two scheme to get rich by producing a sure-thing flop called ‘Springtime for Hitler’.

In The Producers, the script that Max (Zero Mostel) throws away in haste, about a man who wakes up to discover he has been turned into a giant cockroach, is an allusion to Franz Kafka’s classic short story ‘The Metamorphosis.

Academy Award Nominations: 2, including Best Supporting Actor: Gene Wilder.

production details
USA | Avco Embassy 88 minutes / 88 minutes / 1967-11-22

Writer and Director: Mel Brooks
Producer: Sidney Glazier
Director of Photography: Joe Coffey
Editing: Ralph Rosenblum
Music: John Morris
Production Design: Charles Rosen

cast
Zero Mostel as Max Bialystock
Renée Taylor as Eva Braun
Lee Meredith as Ulla
Dick Shawn as Lorenzo St. DuBois (L.S.D.)
Gene Wilder as Leo Bloom
Kenneth Mars as Franz Liebkind
Estelle Winwood as ‘Hold Me Touch Me’
Christopher Hewett as Roger De Bris
Andréas Voutsinas as Carmen Ghia
David Patch as Goebbels
William Hickey as The Drunk
Barney Martin as Göring