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The Producers (1968)

"How could this happen? I was so careful! I picked the wrong play, the wrong director, the wrong cast – where did I go right?"

Mel Brooks got his start doing stand-up comedy and as a TV writer, but he finally got his chance to direct a feature film when he read his script The Producers to producer Sidney Glazier, who wanted to make it right away. Once the film was made, however, the backers were nervous about the film and wanted to shelf it. It took an accidental screening by actor Peter Sellers to champion the film, which eventually led to its official release. Join us – Pete Wright and Andy Nelson – as we continue our celebration of films from 1968 celebrating their 50th anniversaries with another Movies and Their Remakes series, this time looking at Brooks’ The Producers.

We talk about why the film works, and why it actually works this time for Andy. We look at the relationship between Bloom and Bialystock and how it got there through the great performances by Gene Wilder and Zero Mostel. We discuss the other actors and what they’re bringing to the table. We see what Brooks does as director and chat about how well it works. And we debate the musical element and if it should’ve been nominated for an Oscar.

We’re glad to have revisited this film and had a great time talking about it. Check it out then tune in! The Next Reel – When the movie ends, our conversation begins.

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When the movie ends, our conversation begins. We love movies. We’ve been talking about them, one movie a week, since 2011. It’s a lot of movies, that’s true, but we’re passionate about origins and performance, directors and actors, themes and genres, and so much more. So join the community and let’s hear about your favorite movies, too.