Movie of the Week: The Producers (1969)

Mel Brooks directs Zero Mostel, Gene Wilder and Dick Shawn in this comedy about a down on his luck theatre impresario whose accountant reveals a way to make a fortune from a play… as long as it is a guaranteed flop.

Turns out bad taste doesn’t date. The shocking, transgressive stuff Brooks makes light of here still feels pretty risky. Add to that the OTT mugging heavy double act of Mostel and Wilder and I genuinely haven’t laughed continually out loud at a comedy like this in ages. Everyone is such a self absorbed scumbag that the least you can say about the leads is they know they are rotten. They’ve got that saving grace going for them. Game old ladies looking for sex, camp shitshow artists, Reich tinged Broadway numbers and hippy loons. The Producers hasn’t aged a day, or if it has its delightfully matured. I watched the remake when it came out and was unimpressed. This, and only this, is the real deal… just don’t invest.

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