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We love Mardi Gras and 'The Producers'

Another all-time great favourite is the irreverent spoof that is 'The Producers' which started its life as a film, became a stage musical and then morphed into a film of the stage musical - not many items of entertainment can claim such diversity!

(This page is under construction - but it you want more - try Littlejohn's take here)

The Producers

I wonder if Mel Brooks knew what he was doing when he spawned this particular spoof? It was aimed at Broadway and to show how some unscrupulous producers might invest in a sure-fire flop to make enormous sums out of unsuspecting investors - maybe in truth the show should be called 'The Bankers' - ooops - naughty me. Maybe he wanted to ridicule the Nazi regime that had impacted so severely on his own heritage and that of his family? He succeeded in doing both despite the original film being met with scorn and derision - it is now amongst one of the greatest Classics in film History. I think, in my mind it is the only film that was it's equal when re-made and the re-make was based on the stage production - what else could Mel do with his various masterpieces one wonders. So perhaps a small tribute deserves to be placed to the three variations of 'The Producers'.

The original film was made in 1968 and starred Zero Mostel and Gene Wilder as Max Bialystock (the Producer) and Leo Bloom (the Accountant). Supporting roles were taken by Kenneth Mars as author Franz Liebkind, Dick Shawn as star of the show Lorenzo St. Dubois (LSD), Lee Meredith as sex-pot-cum-secretary-crumpet Ulla (she's Swedish you know?), Christopher Hewill as director Roger de Bris (or should that be Brie?) and who could forget Andréas Voutsinas as Carmen Ghia (Roger's 'companion-cum-secretary').

The re-make based on the Musical was made in 2005 with the roles being played by Nathan Lane and Matthew Broderick as Max Bialystock (the Producer) and Leo Bloom (the Accountant). Supporting roles were taken by Will Ferrel as author Franz Liebkind and the star of the show, Uma Thurman as sex-pot-cum-secretary-crumpet Ulla (she's Swedish you know?), Gary Beach as director Roger de Bris (or should that be Brie?) and holding his own, more than adequately Robert Bart as Carmen Ghia (Roger's 'companion-cum-secretary'). The character of Lorenzo St. Dubois (LSD) does not feature in the remake. During auditions for the part of shhhhhhh! Adolf Hitler, none of the actors/singers/dancers auditioning come up to Franz Liebkinds standards and on showing the auditioning hopefuls how he envisaged the star of the show to be portrayed, ends up being cast himself. Unfortunately he never has the opportunity to shine, because he 'breaks his leg' on opening night and a delightfully camp Roger de Bris (or should that be Brie) steps in to save the show!

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Page updated : 13th November 2015