The Producers

Rated 2.0

The movie doesn’t work, but Nathan Lane and Uma Thurman shine in this big screen adaptation of the Mel Brooks classic turned Broadway musical. The same can’t be said for Matthew Broderick, who struggles on screen in the role played by Gene Wilder in the non-musical original and played by himself on Broadway. Lane actually does Zero Mostel proud as Max Bialystock, a role born 40 years ago. Max is a down-on-his-luck producer who hatches a scheme to make money on a flop. The resultant production is Springtime for Hitler which, of course, turns out to be a hit. Thurman is fabulous as Ulla, a role expanded from the original film into a full blown excuse for singing and dancing. Will Ferrell mugs the hell out of his role, the Nazi pigeon handler who wrote the insane musical. Director Susan Stroman has made a surprisingly bland, flat film that needed some better lighting. It’s almost as if the thing were shot with the lights off. Her film looks incredibly dull.