This week I have turned my attention to the musical “The Producers”. For anyone who does not know this is a musical about a bankrupt producer, Max Bialystock, who works with an accountant, Leo Bloom, to create a flop of a musical in order to put some money back into his pocket. As with “101 Dalmatians”, the main difference between the two versions of “The Producers” is the year in which they were released, the actors, and the directors. The original version was directed and written by Mel Brooks and released in 1968. Contrarily the second movie was released in 2005 and directed by Susan Stroman. Both movies follow the same plot line to a T. There are few differences in what actually goes on.
Quite frankly, I think that both of them are hilarious. Casting Gene Wilder as Leo Bloom was a brand new perspective for me. I always view Gene Wilder as Willy Wonka, he can’t be anyone else, it just isn’t right! But he portrayed the role of Bloom so well and acted extremely timid, proving his acting capabilities. In the newer version, Matthew Broderick is left to fill his shoes. Again, Broderick in my mind is Ferris Bueller, but he also did a great job with the role. Random fun fact, Broderick worked with Nathan Lane (Max in the 2005 production) in “The Lion King”, as Broderick was older Simba and Lane was Timon. Overall, each and every one of the actors did a fantastic job in both movies. My only problem was with Will Ferrell in the 2005 production, as Franz Liebkind. For some reason I can’t take Will Ferrell seriously. Like with Wilder and Broderick, I see him as Buddy the Elf, Brennan from Step Brothers, or Steve Butabi from Night at the Roxbury. I feel like there are many other actors that they could have gotten to fill the role, but I also understand the producers casting of him because he adds a zany effect to the character of Franz Liebkind.
In all, both of the movies are great. In my opinion there really is no winner. Mel Brooks created a great script that was able to be turned into a musical itself. I definitely recommend both to anyone! Here is a clip from both the original and the remake! J And an added bonus both are available on Netflix!!