The Next Reel Film Podcast

When the movie ends, our conversation begins

The Producers (2005)

"I’m the German Ethel Merman, don’tcha know!?"

Adapting a non-musical into a Broadway musical into a film musical takes a lot of work, but Mel Brooks clearly had the gumption to do it, and was successful most of the way along. His Broadway adaptation of 1968’s The Producers was a massive hit with records that still haven’t been broken. The question, then, is why the film adaptation of that hit floundered at the box office? It’s a tricky question and as is almost always the case, there really isn’t a clear answer. Join us – Pete Wright and Andy Nelson – as we look at Susan Stroman’s 2005 film The Producers.

We talk about why Stroman – the Broadway director/choreographer – is on board as the director and look at if that really makes any sense, especially considering some of our issues with the direction. We debate the difference between big, comedic performances and ones that are over-the-top, trying to decide why we feel differently with Will Ferrell’s and Kenneth Mars’ performances as Fritz. We discuss the script and some of our struggles with elements that were left nearly identical from the original. And we review some of our favorite performers and songs.

It’s a fun film, even if it ends up struggling under its own weight. We have a great conversation about it all the same, so check it out then tune in! The Next Reel – when the movie ends, our conversation begins.

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