The first thing you need to understand is that this is a movie based on a play based on a movie about a play. The second thing you need to know is that its fantastic. The Producers (2005) is a musical-comedy, originally written by the legendary Mel Brooks, starring Nathan Lane, Matthew Broderick, Will Ferrell, and Uma Thurman. As IMDB puts it, The Producers tells the story of “after putting together another Broadway flop, down-on-his-luck Producer Max Bialystock teams up with timid accountant Leo Bloom in a get-rich-quick scheme to put on the world’s worst show.” The movie works for two reasons, the writing and Nathan Lane.
The writing is so clever in this movie. But how could you expect anything less of Mel Brooks? This story thrives on the outlandish and over the top humor that Mel Brooks does so well. I mean, there are multiple Nazi themed musical number. Only Mel Brooks could truly pull that off. Ok, I see I’m losing you. But here, let me show you a clip. To give some context, the terrible play that is being put on, in hopes that it will flop, is called “Springtime For Hitler”. Here is the opening number:
And that is just a small piece of the absurd humor found throughout the film. In regards to the original movie, from 1967, Mel Brooks said he wanted to make people laugh at Hitler. In my opinion, I think he succeeded. But beyond the writing, the movie works because of Nathan Lane.
Nathan Lane absolutely kills it as a devious, down on his luck, theater producer. It probably helps that he won a Tony for playing the wrong in the Broadway version in 2001, but still. As some one who mainly knew Nathan Lane as the voice of Timon, I was absolutely glued to the screen with his performance in this movie. The singing, the dancing, the physical comedy, all of it was fantastic. If you haven’t yet, you must see it. I don’t have much else to say, I just really enjoyed the absurdity of this movie. If you have Netflix. I would definitely recommend watching it. I give The Producers (2004) seven Nathan Lane musical numbers out of 10.