The Producers

2005 [english]

Action / Comedy / Crime / Musical

The Producers

2005 [english]

Action / Comedy / Crime / Musical

51%
63%
6.3

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51% - Critics
63% - Audience
6.3

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Synopsis

New York, 1959. Max Bialystock was once the king of Broadway, but now all his shows close on opening night. Things turn around when he's visited by the neurotic accountant Leo Bloom, who proposes a scheme tailor-made for producers who can only make flops: raise far more money than you need, then make sure the show is despised. No one will be interested in it, so you can pocket the surplus. To this end, they produce a musical called Springtime for Hitler written by escaped Nazi Franz Liebken. Then they get the insanely flamboyant Roger De Bris to direct. Finally, they hire as a lead actress the loopy Swedish bombshell Ulla (whose last name has over 15 syllables). As opening night draws near, what can go wrong? Well, there's no accounting for taste... —rmlohner.

Uploaded By: FREEMAN

Aug 15, 2021 at 11:52 PM

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grade Movie Reviews

  • Reviewed by curtis-8 grade 4 / 10

    I Wanted to Love It, I Really Did Want To

    I hate to say it, but Susan Stroman's film version of "The Producers" is one of the most dead musical films I've ever seen. The original stage show, also directed by Stroman, is brilliant, but it was a mistake to hand a film project over to someone so inexperienced in film. Her take on the film version is to basically set up a camera in one place and shoot the show in long, static takes, usually in mid or longshots, as the performers do exactly what they did on stage. It is colorful and tuneful, but deadly dull to watch (and I like musicals as a rule). I understand what she was probably going for—she probably wanted to recreate the stage experience as much as possible. But living people on a stage and people on film are very, very, very different. For example, seeing someone on a stage all by himself singing a snappy tune and dancing around is interesting because it's a real person right in front of you. It is amazing in person to experience someone dominating your attention that way. And of course there's always the chance they might not pull it off; it's similar to watching a car race--part of the thrill is that there might be a crash. On film, however, that same person singing that same song all by himself is dull because there is no immediacy, and unless the performer is extraordinarily charismatic, no involvement. Film is, as Orson Welles once observed, a dead medium. Dead in the sense that what you are watching has already happened and cannot be changed. It is the past, while stage performance is the present. To take up our car race analogy again, is watching a race as interesting if it's on tape and you already know there were no crashes?Also, when you're watching a live performance your eye can move all over the set and you know those actors can see you as well--you are to some degree a participant. In film you only see what the director wants you to see, and what they show you has to be involving, not just there. Take, for example, Will Ferrel's big number, the German Band song--what should have been a showstopper was just Will standing in the middle of a huge static picture space, singing and dancing as though even he's not too interested in what he's doing. And Max's big number, Betrayed, would have benefited immensely if there had been other inmates on hand for him to be singing to. There has to be some interaction, an audience, for this kind of thing to work, and a musical film director has to either provide that interacton between characters on screen or use the language of cinema to bring us in and make us feel as though we're interacting with what we see on the screen. Just sticking a camera in front of someone doesn't cut it.I love film, but I just know that film and theatre are not the same at all. Somebody should have told Stroman this. Ironically, actually setting up cameras and filming a real live Broadway performance of the show would have been infinitely more cinematic than what we have here (Altman could have done wonders with it)It is also ironic that the only section of the film with any cinematic life is Springtime for Hitler sequence—which takes place on a STAGE! This one section of the film seems alive. Part of the reason is that for some reason the part of the film that takes place on a stage is the only part in which director Stroman decides to move the camera! (Of course, it also doesn't hurt that the players in "Hitler" can all move and dance much better than any of the leads do in the movie's "real" world.)I wanted to like this movie—I really did. I was happy when I heard it was old fashioned and not full of quick cuts and special effects. But as more and more of the film went on (and on and on) I found myself bored. Old School musical classics like "Easter Parade" or "How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying" were never this visually dull. The Producers had no urgency on screen. No life. Not only were the visuals dull, but the performances seemed canned, almost as though being performed by rote. It was obvious that the two leads had done this same thing—this exact same thing—hundreds and hundreds of times. Every tic, every movement, seemed set in stone. And speaking of tics, Broderick's performance as Bloom may have wowed the back rows on Broadway, but his wild, retarded mugging in the film version makes Jerry Lewis look like Chuck Norris by comparison. A huge disappointment for me.In short, the filmmakers were afraid to change anything at all about the Broadway show when they made the movie, and the result was DOA.


  • Reviewed by misterphilco grade 5 / 10

    Surprisingly Disappointing

    I am a huge fan of the original movie and had the pleasure of seeing the wonderful Broadway show in 2003, so I was more than expecting to love this remake. Unfortunately it didn't live-up to my expectations on a number of fronts.Most fundamentally, it seemed more of a cinematic rendering of the stage show than a remake of the movie - the problem is that it utterly lacks the charm of the 1968 film, and fails to capture the excitement and energy of the show. This is not to do with the actors, who all put in great performances and do the best job possible with their roles. Though, I wonder if it was a good idea to keep the leads from Broadway - playing a part on stage is very different from doing the same thing in a movie. This is at the heart of what is wrong with this movie - it is trying to be cinematic and theatrical at the same time.Also, they have cut some of the funniest scenes and changed some of the best lines from the original. Why, I wonder? For example, the first encounter between Max and Leo in the original movie is hilarious and dramatic - a magnificent opening set-piece, with drama, humour and conflict. In this version, Leo just knocks on the door and introduces himself. Bit of a damp squib, really.Overall, I am not sure what to make of this movie. I would probably have enjoyed it more if I had not seen the original. But not much.


  • Reviewed by julian-32145 grade 1 / 10

    Seriously (but predictable) Disappointing

    ...I didn't even manage 10mins before switching this movie off. The original 1967 version is one of my favourite movies, & I consistently watch it approx six times per year. The 2005 version is terrible, forced acting, bad casting especially Matthew Broderick, he just isn't convincing nor is he funny, may be he did it for the paycheck! (for that I can't blame him). I'm sorry but 2005 was a total unwatchable mistake. For me this movie is an insult on the original! How on earth can the pairing of Zero and Gene Wilder be bettered (improved) upon... It's truly amazing how some ratings are so high with up to ten star ratings!! I must be living in a different world from these people.To conclude for utter brilliance in comedy you MUST watch the 1967 Original. (especially You younger people who often don't give 'oldie movies' a chance)p.s. when you're in the mood for a good comedy also watch 'The Twelve Chairs' of 1970 by Mel brooks....


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