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The Producers IMDb Page
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Film Information and Synopsis:

  • Release Date: November 10, 1968
  • Director: Mel Brooks
  • Short Synopsis: Washed-up Producer Max Bialystock (Zero Mostel) used to be somebody. These days he lives in his office and “satisfies” wealthy old ladies for money. Leo Bloom (Gene Wilder) an accountant who inadvertently suggests producing a flop production and keeping the “extra” money for themselves.

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Ulla (Lee Meredith) giving Max his Cigar

My Review:

Throughout the movie I found myself laughing at the simplest little things. The amount of comedy of all kinds is astounding. The way that Gene Wilder and Zero Mostel acted showed the amount of time and effort that they put in to make this film a success. Everything form the acting to the music fit right in to what I think Brooks was going for. Gene’s character Bloom is probably the funnier of the two but at the same time the more composed character out of the two. The way he acted out his hysterical fit was perfect. He did not hold back anything and that is the reason why it turned out so great. Most comedians today tone it down to a certain level and in not only this scene but a number of others, Wilder was able to unleash himself completely through his character and portray a man w ho was stuck in a bubble and now that he is out of that bubble, he does not know what to do when something goes wrong. The childish comedy that both characters portrayed was fitting to each characters overall persona. Bloom was an obsessive compulsive person who you later on saw as a small boy playing with his balloon in th e park. Max on the other hand seemed to have a conniving humor to him that you would see in a big brother. It makes sense because both Wilder and Mostel’s characters seemed like brothers form the beginning. In the beginning Mostel seemed to be kind of a jerk and he was not afraid to let everyone know either. The way he used the women to get money was what made me not like him at fi rst but once the movie got roll ing, you could see that his deceitful and smooth character was a perfect contrast to Wilder’s neurotic persona.

Academic Analysis:

  • The camera work in the film surprised me a bit mainly because of how good it was. The transitions from one scene to another and their use of space worked quite well. An example of the use of space is when Bloom and Max got into the elevator to see their director for the first time. Brooks seemed to be using one room that was cut in half and the elevator was the door between the two rooms. When they enter and then exit the elevator it seems that the room and the entrance to the elevator are literally next to each other and not really in separate floors. To some this mig ht seem sloppy work but in this case it showed that Brooks was able to use what he had at the time and did not let any space go to waste. The music that was used fit the film perfectly because it was mainly musical music which was connected to their production and theatre settings. The plot of the film also seemed to be very well thought out and executed by the two main characters. The irony used in the end of the film seemed to be something that worked in this one but might not have
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    Max & Bloom Coming up With Their Grand Scheme
    worked well in any other kind of film. The portrayal of patrons and theatre goers seemed to be in line with how people flocked to a Broadway production back then and even to this day. The notion of scamming the IRS out of thousands of dollars to get rich is something that sadly could be labeled as American. Today there are thousands of people doing this exact thing just to have more money or even to have fun. T he way that the film outlines and executes the scheme only adds to the comedic value of the film.

Research:

Books:

This books is great if you are doing a biographical project on Brooks. It goes through his life, career, marriage and talks about his achievements in life.
In this books, the author goes through Brooks' movies and discusses the themes, actors, and evne some critical responses that have mixed opinions of Brooks.
If you are looking at doing a project on comedy in movies, this is the book for you. It goes through all of film history and analyzes their methods and impact of modern comedy. From Chaplin to The Marx Brothers, This book looks at all avenues of comedy and especially slapstick comedy.

Academic Journals:

This article gives a reader a chance to know Brooks. It includes biographical information such as his given name and then goes through his screenplays as well. It gives you a more personal look into his personal life and greatest acheivements.
  • Symons, Alex. "An Audience Mel Brooks's The Producers: The Avant-garde of the Masses." Journal of Popular Film and T elevision 34.1 (2006): 24-32. Literary Reference Center. Web. 13 Nov. 2009.
This article is specific to "The Producers." It gives you a feel for what many people feel is Brooks' best work.It gives you an explination and a feel for why it is said to be Avant-garde.
Although this article is mainly about another more modern movie, it does give many examples of classic screwball comedy strategies and why hey worked. It not only lists different techniques but takes you through an evaluation of how well they worked or still work.

Websites:

Ebert is one of the most renowned critics in the world, In his site, he gives you his personal opinion of the movie and what made it work and remembered.
  • Dirks, Tim. "Comedy Films." Greatest Films - The Best Movies in Cinematic History. N.p., n.d. Web. 14 Nov. 2009. <http://www.filmsite.org/ comedyfilms.html>.
This website goes through each known type of film comedy, describes what it is, how it is used, and gives examples of movies that really succeeded in using it including some if not most of Brooks' films.
This site give a broader look of comedy and categorizes it into three main types. It gives a small description and some references to what kind of movies fit that certain category.



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