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..What a fantastic surprise. I’ve seen Luke-warm reviews about this film, largely saying that the theatrical basis (the Broadway show) is oh-so-evident. Well, in my opinion, this is one of the film’s strengths. It’s a well-intentioned performance and is close enough to the original Producers, and so unlike it, that the musical remake is justified.
I love musicals, especially musical comedy. This film is a sop to the musical comedy, with good performances from the leads, and Uma Thurman and Will Ferrell, who all appear to be enjoying themselves.
The central (staged) number “Springtime for Hitler” is brilliantly choreographed, with suitably outrageous costumes. Gary Beach as a brilliantly camp Hitler completes this excellent scene. And the bratwurst!! The editing in this sequence – camera panning to the gob-smacked audience is brilliant. This is a film that salutes and spoofs musicals. It’s an absolute delight