The Producers - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Producers Reviews

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Super Reviewer
July 31, 2011
Hmmmmmm so very very tricky to decide here, what can I say...I enjoyed this as a stand alone film on its own, and when not compared to the original. As a stand alone farce its a great piece of comedy but of course it so difficult not to think and look back to the original material.

To be honest this is a classic example of a remake that, in terms of the movie, didn't succeed in doing anything other than show you should never try to remake a classic. Of course because of the flick there was a big renewed interest in the forgotten classic and a very popular theatre show, which is all good as its perfect for the theatre in every sense but the actual film is a poor imitation.

There are certain parts in this film I loved, mainly anything to do with Nathan Lane who is a superb comedic actor with fantastic skills in facial and physical comedy. Some of his leers and chubby prat falls are brilliant and really compete with Mostel's first performance. On the other hand there are some truly awful moments of...plagiarism basically where the same funny line or sequence has been attempted from the original and it just bombs hard. Some scenes simply cannot be replicated from the genius of Wilder and Mostel.

A huge issue with me was the casting of Broderick who is so so so so weak an actor I just don't understand how he gets work. Is it all simply down to 'Ferris Bueller'!!?. Terrible actor and he really shows it here with a dreadful performance that lets the whole film down badly. Sure he can sing a little, move well and he does look the part but he just isn't a strong enough character for comedy, he's too shy and reserved and a bad partner to Lanes terrific greasy comb over sleaze.

To be honest some of the casting is poor in this film accept for Lane, Beach and Bart all of which were inspired choices. Thurman and Ferrell were totally out of place and show why it can be a bad decision to cast big names when lesser known folk would work so much better. Also Lovitz could of been used in a better role instead of the extra unnecessary sequence he was in. Where was Dom Deluise that's what I wanna know, the perfect film for him.

The film looks fantastic I gotta say, well it basically looks like a stage performance that's just been filmed really. Not a bad thing as the colour and razzle dazzle is all very well directed and comes up peachy on your screen. Lots of musical numbers and extra padding to fill out the length which is again nice but also loses some of the originals charm. The old adage of less is more and this new film really does go overboard when it didn't have to. Obviously the film was meant to be a precursor to the real theatre production (a prequel of sorts to see how it would fare) which is fine but I don't know why they went down the musical route with the film instead of sticking to the better farcical comedic angle. I just felt a lot of the source materials essence was lost trying to craft the film into something else when they still could of done the theatre show and kept this film like the original.

Last thoughts are positive for the film as its nice to see musicals back on the big screen looking as lush as this but as a remake its nowhere near as good as its forebearer. Quite a poor copy in places but it does have its highlights which can make you forgive. If your seeing this for the first time then I strongly recommend the original first of course.
Super Reviewer
½ February 29, 2008
I knew going in I probably wasn't going to love this. After all, I find Mel Brooks "comedies" to be the lamest, lowest-common-denominator style of comedy, full of unfunny puns and slapstick overacting. But I like musicals, so I thought I might at least get some enjoyment out of it. I should give it a shot.

It's even worse than I thought.

The first scene with Lane and Broderick, which seems to go on for about half an hour, is agonizing and interminable, I almost turned it off (again - I started watching it once LONG ago and never made it through that scene), but I powered through and kept watching. The movie never got much better. The songs themselves are slightly less awful, but the rest of the film is just too rooted in bad Mel Brooks style. The performances are equally painful, even from some of the otherwise-decent actors. (What the hell happened to you, Matthew Broderick?!?) It's so overdone and exaggerated - fine if you're playing to a large live theater, but in a movie that kind of exaggeration is not needed and just comes across as dumb.

One of the worst movies I have ever seen.
Super Reviewer
July 14, 2007
Excellent adaptation of the Broadway show. All the characters are very funny. Shouldn't laugh at the play but just can't help it!
Super Reviewer
½ December 13, 2011
A Broadway producer and his accountant team up to make a flop as part of a get-rich-quick scheme ... set to music.
All the problems - the over-acting, the kitsch - that plagued the original production are on full display here, and added to those is some really bad music. I highly doubt that the discerning viewer will be singing "Unhappy" and "We Can Do It" in the shower the next day, even though some of the original music is kinda catchy.
There are moments when it seems like Matthew Broderick is doing a Gene Wilder impersonation, but I was impressed by his voice; I knew he was on Broadway and could sing, but he's much better than an actor who can act through a song. He's actually got some pipes.
I also liked the changes in the third act, which give the story a more cohesive structure.
Overall, this is a poor effort, a film that should not have been made.
Super Reviewer
June 9, 2006
This is a movie based on a play based on a movie about a play. Also, this film, like the play within it, and the play it was based on, is a musical. This is probably the greatest difference between this and the 1968 film.

There are other differences sure, but this being a musical is the most noticable change. It has its moments, and the musical numbers are well done, but, and I hate comparing it, but it's just not as good as the original. For one thing, the tone is all wrong. The entire film is done as camp. Sure, while that can be fun, it lessens the impact of the material, and it's also not shocking like it should be. Also, I think that, at 135 minutes, this could have been tightened up just a bit. At least it's not 3+ hours like many musicals.

Some of the performances are actually not too bad though. Lane is pretty good, Thurman and Ferrell are entertaining, and I liked the brief appearances of Lovitz and Huddleston. Broderick has his moments, but he's rather underwhelming.

I didn't hate this, but it does have some issues like I've addressed. It's not boring, but it just feels rather draggy at times. I'm a little torn on the rating. On one hand it's not totally worth recommending overall, but on the other, it's got some good moments, so take it or leave it, and see it if you want or feel you need to. As for that tricky rating: how about 3.25. I think that works okay, or "thumbs sideways".
Super Reviewer
June 24, 2011
Quite funny!
Super Reviewer
June 22, 2011
A good entertaining, full of great effects and coreography, but is better the original The Producers.
Super Reviewer
½ April 14, 2011
This movie was a lot weirder than I expected it. It was a little too much for me. It was entirely too long, that's for sure.
Super Reviewer
½ August 30, 2010
"Wait, that's not my life. Somebody else's life is flashing before my eyes." Hah!
I'm sorry, I was thoroughly entertained. Matthew Broderick's expression kept me laughing the whole time and of course the lyrics were phenomenal, the choreography was pretty good (I thought!) and I loved the acting although Ms. Uma Thurman's accent slipped a few times, but oh well. The main thing is that Lane and Broderick were fantastic together. Such great stage presence.
Super Reviewer
½ July 30, 2010
Odd, to say the least. Though clocking in at a reasonable 129 minutes, this film felt like it took an eternity to complete. I have few problems with this film, but those problems are big enough that I can't bear to give it more than 2 1/2 stars.
Super Reviewer
½ June 24, 2010
Super Reviewer
March 25, 2007
Super Reviewer
½ January 3, 2009
I'm usually anti-remake but this one isn't bad. Still, not nearly as good as the original.
Super Reviewer
August 10, 2007
Leo Bloom: "I'm not going to the toilet, I'm going to showbiz!"

After transforming his first motion picture into a smash Broadway musical, Mel Brooks brings the story of two would-be theatrical moguls turned con men back to the screen in this musical comedy. Max Bialystock (Nathan Lane) was once one of Broadway's most successful producers, but a string of flops has thrown his career into a tailspin, and now he struggles to raise the cash to stage new shows by playing gigolo to lonely old ladies. While going over his books, accountant Leo Bloom (Matthew Broderick) notices that Bialystock raised more money than he spent for one show, and points out that if one raised enough money for a show that closed in one night, you could make more off a flop than a hit. This strikes Bialystock as a brilliant scheme, and he decides to give it a try, persuading Bloom to join him in staging the world's greatest flop. After discovering a truly vile script -- "Springtime for Hitler," a musical set in the Third Reich written by neo-Nazi pigeon fancier Franz Liebkind (Will Ferrell) -- and giving a key role to the secretary Ulla (Uma Thurman), a drop-dead gorgeous blonde with only a tenuous understanding of the English language, Bialystock and Bloom are certain they have the disaster they need for their plan to work. But the scheme unexpectedly goes wrong when "Springtime for Hitler" becomes a "so bad it's good" hit. Mel Brooks co-wrote the screenplay for The Producers as well as producing it, but directorial chores were handed over to Susan Stroman, who also directed the Broadway show; Nathan Lane and Matthew Broderick also repeated their roles from the Broadway production.

Having now seen both versions of this, I have to give a slight nod to the original, only because Zero Mostel and Gene Wilder were absolutely perfect together. Nathan Lane was terrific, no doubt about it, but Matthew Broderick paled in comparison to Wilder. Will Ferrell, on the other hand, proved a worthy complement to Kenneth Mars. Both were outstanding in their own way as Franz Liebkind. The new material and many of the musical numbers were great additions. The whole "Heil Myself" number is a stitch. And Uma Thurman works for me. Boy, does she. The only negatives I can say about the original is that Dick Shawn's hippie-like character and Lee Meredith's scenes are definitely dated. But those are pretty small nits to pick. The main weak spot in the new film is that Broderick can't hold a candle to Gene Wilder.
Super Reviewer
December 23, 2008
"There's more to you than there is to you."

I usually don't watch remakes, but this I had to watch because of its talented comedians, Nathan Lane and Will Ferrell. Well, there's nothing much more to say than "Guten Tag clap clap"!

"The Producers" is full of very lousy acting. Only the above mentioned actors and Roger Bart really do a nice job. The major mistake of this film was to give one of the leads to Matthew Broderick. He fails in every possible way to give a funny performance.

Sometimes, "The Producers" surprises the viewer by witty dialogue like: "Quick darling, back in the closet!" but in the end it's just not that funny. The films highlight is the scenes of the premiere of "Springtime for Hitler".

- Ja. Not many people know this, but the fuhrer was descended from a long line of English queens."
Super Reviewer
July 2, 2008
Pretty kewl for a musical comedy movie. Fun to watch, the first singing scene had pretty shoddy actors but once you get past that its all good and easy to sink into.

Mixes old style type of musical tv shows with broadway.

Wowowee have a load full of Uma Thurmans legs! She is absolutely stunning! (Im not bi, I just have an eye for beauty!) Oh and, I loved the "the Fab 6", (minus the 6th!) lol!!

"Spring time for Hitler and Germanyyyy!!"
"Make it Gay! Make it Gay! Make it Gaaayy!" -- Yeah, found it quite catchy, now I cant get the songs outta my head!

--that scene where they were showing deuchland, reminded me of the nursery rhyme jack and jill??

Just saw clips of the 1968 - The Producers too, not bad either, but ofcourse I think this one is more suited for todays generation.
Super Reviewer
June 13, 2006
I've never been a big fan of Broadway musicals, but wanted to see this for the funny sounding premise. And although the introduction to the story turns out to be a little long, once the plot thickens it's definitely having its really funny, satirical and outrageously wrong moments. Especially Will Ferrell as Nazi and Uma Thurman as talent-free Swedish newcomer are pretty funny. Everything's fast, loud, colorful and hopelessly over the top. I am sure a lot of people really like that, but for me it always feels like the songs, while being catchy, get somewhat repetitive in Broadway musicals, and there are a LOT of songs in this. So, in the end I wasn't entirely satisfied but didn't regret the two hours either. For fans, I suppose.
Super Reviewer
May 12, 2007
Genuinely fun movie. I love musicals and the songs in this one are hilarious!
Super Reviewer
May 14, 2007
Doesn't feel like a movie, but rather like someone video-taped the Broadway show. I'll stick with the original.
Super Reviewer
½ April 24, 2007
I have now watched three versions of this play -- Broadway, the 1968 version and this one. The movie is typical of Mel Brooks fare, and I don't find his work that entertaining. Between the two movie versions, I preferred this one.
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