The Producers Widescreen Edition
Nathan Lane, Matthew Broderick, Uma Thurman, Will Ferrell, Gary Beach
Broadway Musicals DVD
BM01 Broadway Musicals DVD - Nathan Lane, Matthew Broderick, Uma Thurman, Will Ferrell, Gary Beach - The Producers Widescreen Edition - Broadway Musicals DVD - Deleted Scenes. Outtakes. Analysis of a Scene: I Wanna Be a Producer. Feature Commentary with Director Susan Stroman. Additional Features. The highlight of the DVD is Nathan Lane's complete performance of The King of Broadway, one of eight scenes offered here that were cut from the film. Most of the others are extensions and reprises of musical numbers, but there's not a lemon in the bunch. Also on the DVD are 15 minutes of outtakes that aren't quite as funny as one would imagine, and a 16-minute examination of the I Wanna Be a Producer number, including how the scene was reworked for the movie and the costumes of the beautiful girls wearing nothing but pearls. Director-choreographer Susan Stroman's commentary track sounds scripted, but offers good information like explaining Mel Brooks's inside jokes and pointing out the Broadway actors who played bit parts. Nathan Lane and Matthew Broderick return to their award-winning roles in the hilariously funny film of the record-breaking Broadway smash-hit. Scheming producer Max Bialystock (Lane) and his mousy accountant, Leo Bloom (Broderick), discover that under the right circumstances they could make more money by producing a Broadway flop than they can with a hit. But what will they do when their sure-to-offend musical becomes a surprise sensation? Co-starring sexy Uma Thurman and comedy genius Will Ferrell, The Producers is a fun-filled, side-splitting comedy. Much of the credit must go to Susan Stroman's stagey and somewhat campy direction, which suits the material perfectly. Even more credit belongs to the incredible Nathan Lane for managing to equal Zero Mostel's original Max Bialystock and even, once or twice, surpassing it. He is, quite rightly, the heart and soul, of the film. The rest of the cast is not bad either. Uma Thurman is a pleasant surprise, the double act of Gary Beach and Roger Bart are pure politically-incorrect joy, and even Will Farrell is good. Which leaves Matthew Broderick. He certainly comes to life when singing and dancing, much more so than I would have expected. But his characterisation of Leo Bloom seems just a bit too bland. I know Leo is supposed to a personality-deficient accountant, but I really miss Gene Wilder's manic edge. With Broderick, there's not even a hint in the eyes that he really needs that blue blanket. Both Lane and Broderick chew the scenery within and inch of its life and most of the musical numbers are fantastically staged outdoors to great advantage: the investor ladies with walkers scene is a hoot as well as Leo's number with his fellow accountants as is the opening scene from the show that Max and Leo produce: Springtime for Hitler. The Producers will not teach you anything except maybe not to listen to your accountant nor will you leave the theater with any profound thoughts...but you will leave happy and positive...and those are not bad things, not bad things at all. I was thrilled when I found out Matthew Broderick and Nathan Lane would reprise their Broadway performances for the big screen. When you live 1,000 miles from New York, you often rely on the movies to bring you these little gems. And a gem this is. The most fun-filled, laugh out loud funny musical comedy of the year delights mainly due to the outstanding performances of Lane and Broderick. The story is as old as 1968 when Mel Brooks gifted us with the original movie. The accountant who inadvertently gives the Broadway producer the tip of a lifetime----produce the worst play of all time and pocket the backing-is a singing, dancing romp that leaves you feeling you have seen the best of Broadway at the movies. No one but Nathan Lane could ever bring all the sleaze of Max Bialystock to life with such hilarity; no one but Matthew Broderick could make the nerdy Leo Bloom so enchanting: and no one but Uma Thurman could convince us such a stunningly seductive woman could fall for either. Will Ferrell shines as the playwright enamored with Hitler and thrilled to bring his Springtime for Hitler to the stage in one of the movie's best production numbers, the other being the sex-starved old ladies dancing desperately with their walkers.
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Let us read, and let us dance; these two amusements will never do any harm to the world. -Voltaire
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