Zero Mostel is a down-on-his-luck play producer. Gene Wilder is a neurotic accountant.Together they cook up a scheme to raise a million dollars (from old ladies) to produce a playguaranteed to flop (and thus they keep the money.) The play they choose is a little romp called“Springtime for Hitler.” This being a Mel Brooks film, the humour ain’t subtle, and Brooks doesrun some sequences into the ground (he never has known when to quit). But there is a lot oftremendously funny…material, and the big song-and-dance number that opens their play is oneof the greatest sequences in the history of film comedy.
You have a choice here between the original mono and a new 5.1 mix. The differencebetween the two is very slight indeed. The 5.1 track is, I suppose, technically stereo, but I hadto plaster my ear against the rear speakers before I heard anything at all. Only during the“Springtime for Hitler” song does even the music make itself known. All that said, the soundquality itself is very clear.
No complaints about the picture, which comes in both fullscreen and 1.85:1 anamorphicwidescreen formats. The image is sharp and clear, with excellent colours, contrasts, blacks andflesh tones. A very nice-looking print.
All of the features are on side B of the disc, and there really isn’t any reason why theycouldn’t have been packed onto a single side. Oh well. The main extra is a documentary on themaking of The Producers, which features interviews with most of the surviving cast and crew,including Wilder and Brooks. The other features are an outtake from the attempt to blow up thetheatre, a sketch gallery montage, a photo gallery, Peter Sellers’ review of the film read by PaulMazursky, an ad for the musical soundtrack, and trailers for The Producers, The Greatest StoryEver Told, Fiddler on the Roof, The Princess Bride and Some Like It Hot. The menu has a scoredand animated main page and transitions.
Perhaps Mel Brooks’ best film. Certainly, if you haven’t seen “Springtime for Hitler,” youhaven’t lived.
Special Features List
- “The Making of The Producers” Documentary
- Sketch Gallery
- Photo Gallery
- Peter Sellers Statement
- Soundtrack Ad