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The Producers (2005)

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So they're filming the musical that is basically based on the original film, so they're remaking the film, but as a musical.

Must... keep... head... from... exploding...

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So they're filming the musical that is basically based on the original film, so they're remaking the film, but as a musical.

Must... keep... head... from... exploding...

Just like Little Shop of Horrors. Man, Hollywood really is running out of ideas...

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Hmmm ... was Rodgers & Hammerstein's The King and I (a 1951 musical that was turned into a film in 1956) an entirely original production, or was it based in any way on the 1946 film Anna and the King of Siam?

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Ah, but if those musicals were not based ON FILMS, then they do not apply here. We are looking at films that are descended, through musicals, from other films, and not at films that are merely cousins springing from a common ancestor (i.e. the original comics or novels).

FWIW, I recently finished reading Mark Steyn's book on Broadway musicals, and he makes some intriguing remarks about the difficulties of translating films like Sunset Boulevard into stage musicals (as Andrew Lloyd Webber did with that particular film).

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Saw The Producers last night and am wrestling with my response to it. It

Edited by Christian

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Christian wrote:

: Peter, I'm curious to hear your reaction to this film. And anyone else's.

FWIW, I just got my ticket to the preview, but I won't be seeing it until the 19th.

Jason Bortz wrote:

: Wait til Sarah Jessica finds out.

Ah, how well I remember reading and trying to process that interview with Matthew Broderick in which he described Harvey Fierstein sticking his tongue down his throat during the filming of Torch Song Trilogy ... I was only 18 at the time, and still rather quasi-fundamentalist, albeit not so fundamentalist that I hadn't enjoyed Ferris Bueller's Day Off when it came out two years earlier ...

Edited by Peter T Chattaway

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By that, I mean that much of the humor is sexual, and more specifically, at the expense of gay characters. But the send-up is so over-the-top, and the participants so self-conscious about the homosexual connection to Broadway productions, that I suppose it
Edited by Rich Kennedy

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Lo and behold, the original film arrived for me at the library yesterday. I haven't seen it yet, but I did see the musical last night.

My sister was laughing all the way through it, especially during the "German" parts. She kept saying that she wanted to go back and watch it with certain relatives of ours.

Has Uma Thurman ever been this sexy? I think not.

Has Jon Lovitz ever had a funnier close-up? I think not.

I don't think anyone can complain about the gay stereotypes unless they are also prepared to complain about the Irish stereotypes, the German stereotypes, the Swedish stereotypes, and so on, and so on. This movie seemed to me like a harmless romp with stock characters straight out of some vaudeville routine; and given how gay culture has itself embraced camp, I think the camping up of gay culture should be perfectly acceptable, from that point of view.

Question: I assume Will Ferrell did not play the playwright in the stage musical, so I must ask, are the scenes where he yells about

his injuries

from offscreen in the original musical? Because they were very, very reminiscent of his "I am very ... badly ... burnt!" scenes in the Austin Powers movies.

Christian, did you stay through the end credits of THIS film?

Edited by Peter T Chattaway

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Christian, did you stay through the end credits of THIS film?

I don't think I did. What'd I miss?

I'm getting the vibe that you also liked the film?

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I don't really like Mel Brooks. But I do love the original Producers. I like some of the supporting cast, but I'm somehow doubtful that Broderick and Lane can really match the intensity and insanity of Wilder and Mostel. Gene Wilder is brilliant in the original, but since I think the original film is hilarious and easily the best thing Brooks has ever done, I'll go see this probably.

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Christian wrote:

: I don't think I did. What'd I miss?

Well, there are funny songs all the way through the credits, and then at the very end Broderick and others -- including, finally,

a cameo by Mel Brooks himself

-- tell the audience that the movie's over and they should go home. (Hmmm, didn't Broderick do this before, in Ferris Bueller's Day Off?)

: I'm getting the vibe that you also liked the film?

Oh yup.

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Christian wrote:

\

: I'm getting the vibe that you also liked the film?

Oh yup.

I wonder if you had a similar experience I had when seeing it: Laughter throughout the crowd -- everywhere but the press rows.

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I only sit in the "press rows" when I show up late and all the other seats are taken. On this occasion, I pointed out the press seats to my sister, but she said we should sit up close -- only four or five or six rows from the screen. Which, quite frankly, is about how close I like to sit anyway. Whenever there are lots of people in front of you, there are lots of opportunities to watch people's cell phones light up. It's very annoying.

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I only sit in the "press rows" when I show up late and all the other seats are taken. On this occasion, I pointed out the press seats to my sister, but she said we should sit up close -- only four or five or six rows from the screen. Which, quite frankly, is about how close I like to sit anyway. Whenever there are lots of people in front of you, there are lots of opportunities to watch people's cell phones light up. It's very annoying.

I sometimes opt to sit closer, too. The light from the screen helps me when I'm scribbling notes -- a task I have yet to master.

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I figured I would put this here.

 

After I read this story earlier this week about a guy who wants to shut down a stage production of The Producers for whitewashing Nazism, I decided to write a piece about comedies which find humor in the midst of appalling human behavior and how laughter in such situations can be a good thing.

 

I reference The Producers, Blazing Saddles, Big Lebowski, Hannah and Her Sisters, Duck Soup and Four Lions as examples.

 

https://catholiccinephile.wordpress.com/2015/07/30/laughing-at-the-devil/

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