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May 2006

The Producers DVD Review

By Kam Williams

The Producers DVD Review


Cast: Nathan Lane, Matthew Broderick, Uma Thurman,Will Ferrell, Roger Bart, Gary Beach, Andrea Martin, Debra Monk, Jon Lovitz
Director: Susan Stroman
Format: AC-3, Color, Dolby, Dubbed, Subtitled, Widescreen, NTSC
Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1
Number of discs: 1
Rating: PG-13 for crude humor and sexual references.
Studio: Universal Studios
DVD Release Date: May 16, 2006
Run Time: 134 minutes
DVD Features:
Available Subtitles: English, Spanish, French
Available Audio Tracks: English (Dolby Digital 5.1), French (Dolby Digital 5.1)
Commentary by: Director Susan StromanDolby Digital 5.1
Deleted Scenes
Analysis of a Scene: "I Wanna Be a Producer"
Feature Commentary with Director Susan Stroman

Screen Adaptation of Tony Award-Winner Arrives on DVD

When The Producers was first released in 1968, it marked the directorial debut of Mel Brooks who was awarded an Oscar for his original script about a conspiracy between an impresario and an accountant to mount a deliberately offensive Broadway flop. In 2001, he revived the film as a musical on Broadway where it was so well-received that it won a record-breaking, dozen Tony Awards.

Next, Mel decided to adapt his hit show back to the big screen. And to his credit, he managed to keep most of his cast and creative team intact, which helps explain why this seamless masterpiece looks so effortless. Nathan Lane and Matthew Broderick reprise their lead roles as fledgling impressario Max Bialystock, and nerdy accountant Leo Bloom, respectively. Also returning are Gary Beach as the flamboyant Roger de Bris and Roger Bart as his equally-over-the-top assistant, Carmen Ghia. Welcome newcomers include Uma Thurman as Ulla, a naïve Swedish ingénue; Will Ferrell as Franz Liebkind, a neo-Nazi nitwit and Jon Lovitz as Mr. Marks, Leo¹s overbearing boss.

Set in NYC City during the Fifties, this movie revolves around crafty Max conspiring with straitlaced Leo to mount a Broadway production that¹s certain to bomb in order to bilk investors of millions of dollars. So, they set out in search of the most tasteless script, the worst director and a godawful cast. Of course, Springtime for Hitler turns out to be the latest sensation, and major complications ensue.

Lane and Broderick exhibit perfect timing acting, dancing and singing together from start to finish. Equally entertaining are shameless scene-stealer Ferrell and the skimpily-attired Thurman. Yet, the most chemistry to be found, here, might be between Beach and Bart, whose out-of-the-closet hijinks are relentlessly hilarious. Be prepared to laugh throughout the duration of this 10 Best List entry.

Excellent (4 stars)