What do a down-and-out Broadway producer, his anxiety-attack-prone accountant, a go-go dancing Swedish secretary, and a Nazi playwright have in common? They're all part of Mel Brooks's wild and wacky first film, THE PRODUCERS. In this hysterical farce, rapacious but lovable producer Max Bialystock (Zero Mostel) hasn't had a hit in years and resorts to fulfilling sexually crazed little old ladies' fantasies for extra cash. But when he meets his new meek, neurotic accountant, Leo Bloom (Gene Wilder), the two accidentally come up with a plot to oversell shares in a surefire flop musical and make off with the profits. The plan sends the new partners-in-crime on a search for the worst play ever: SPRINGTIME FOR HITLER, written by an ex-Nazi (Kenneth Mars) whose only friends are the filthy city pigeons he keeps on his roof.
Inspired, manic performances by all involved, along with Brooks's lively direction--which affectionately alludes to such MGM Golden Age musicals as SINGIN' IN THE RAIN--make THE PRODUCERS both referential and highly original as it moves along swiftly to the ultimate musical climax.
Academy Awards Best Original Screenplay 1968 Mel Brooks American Director/Writer/Producer/Comedian