The Producers

2005

The Producers

Critics Consensus

Despite the rich source material, The Producers has a stale, stagy feel more suited to the theater than the big screen.

50%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 152

63%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 281,240
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Movie Info

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. ~ Mark Deming, Rovi

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Cast

Nathan Lane
as Max Bialystock
Will Ferrell
as Franz Liebkind
Gary Beach
as Roger De Bris
Roger Bart
as Carmen Ghia
Jon Lovitz
as Mr. Marks
Kathy Fitzgerald
as Shirley Markowitz
Michael McKean
as Prison Trustee
Jai Rodriguez
as Sabu the Houseboy
Mike Jackson
as Injun Jack
Richard Kind
as Jury Foreman
Thomas Meehan
as Defense Attorney
Debra Monk
as Lick Me-Bite Me
Eileen Essell
as Hold Me-Touch Me
Andrea Martin
as Kiss Me-Feel Me
Marilyn Sokol
as Bag Lady
Brad Oscar
as Cab Driver
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Critic Reviews for The Producers

All Critics (152) | Top Critics (42)

Audience Reviews for The Producers

  • Feb 24, 2012
    Despite the pairing of the original Broadway duo, Broderick and Lane, the movie feels a little flat. I imagine that it was probably quite entertaining on screen but Stroman fails to use the different medium for better impact.
    John B Super Reviewer
  • Dec 14, 2011
    Clearly choreographic movements made it stagy but great singing and excellent adaptation.
    Sylvester K Super Reviewer
  • Dec 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.
    Jim H Super Reviewer
  • Jul 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.
    Phil H Super Reviewer

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