The Producers (1968)

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A producer conspires with an accountant to produce the worst play ever made.


Genre

Comedy

Characters/Groups

Max Bialystock - Zero Mostel

"Hold Me Touch Me" - Estelle Winwood

Roger De Bris - Christopher Hewett

Franz Liebkind - Kenneth Mars

Ulla - Lee Meredith

Eva Braun - Renee Taylor

Carmen Ghia - Andreas Voutsinas

The Drunk - Bill Hickey

Goebbels - David Patch

Goring - Barney Martin

Concierge - Madlyn Cates

The Landlord - Shimen Ruskin

The Bartender - Frank Campanella

Violinist - Josep Elic

Drama Critic - John Zoller

Hot Dog Vendor - Brutus Peck

The Ladies - Anne Ives, Amelie Barleon, Elsie Kirk, Nell Harrison, Mary Love

L.S.D. - Dick Shawn

Leo Bloom - Gene Wilder

Rodolfo

Arthur Packard

Jason Green

Character thumbnails with links to profiles

Detailed Synopsis

Max Bialystock escorts a Lady out of his office and then sets out a new picture on his desk as he waits for "Hold Me Touch Me". "Hold Me Touch Me" arrives and they play a game of role playing, before they are interrupted by Leo Bloom. Max orders Leo out of the office and tells "Hold Me Touch Me" they will have to play another day before asking her for a check to help produce plays. The Landlord then walks over and takes the check from Max's hand. Max confronts Leo, who tells him he was sent by Whitehall and Marx to do Max's books. Max explains to Leo how he has fallen on hard times and now services old ladies for money. While looking at Max's accounting books, Leo notices that Leo paid out less than he made to his backers for his last play. Leo tells Max that if a producer produced a flop on purpose that he could potentially make millions. Max has Leo explain the details and then tells Leo he wants to do the plan. Leo gets hysterical from Max's excitement and Max takes Leo to lunch. Max decides to go "al fresco" and they get a hot dog from a Hot Dog Vendor. Max takes Leo on the merry-go-round and a rowboat and then takes Leo to the top of a skyscraper and as they stare down at New York City, Max tells Leo that "money is honey". That night Leo agrees to help Max.

They become Bialystock & Bloom Theatrical Productions. Throughout the night they read a series of plays trying to find the worst one when Max reads Springtime for Hitler "A Gay Romp with Adolf and Eva at Berchtesgaden". The next day the go to the home of Franz Liebkind. Before entering the building they have to get by the Concierge, who demands to know who they want to see. They approach Franz who immediately insists he wasn't a member of the Nazi party and was only following orders. They tell him they want to produce his play and he takes them to his apartment which is decorated with a picture of Adolf Hitler. He tells them that Hitler was a terrific dancer and was a great painter and could paint an entire apartment in one afternoon with two coats. Franz then angrily yells about how Hitler was better than Churchill. Max goes to the Blue Gypsy to meet with one his Ladies. At the Blue Gypsy, Max receives another check and pours champagne into the pants of a Violinist. In the next few days he goes on more dates with Ladies. Max hires Ulla to be their receptionist, even though she doesn't know how to speak English. Max then shows Leo the real reason he hired Ulla when he tells her to go to work and she dances to music. Max and Leo have a meeting with Roger De Bris after being dropped off by Rodolfo. They go to Roger's home and Carmen Ghia answers the door. They go up to Roger's dressing room and he tells them he is going to the Choreographer's Ball in which he is going as the Grand Duchess Anastasia. Roger tells them he thinks the play lacks music and comes up with a musical number for the play. Roger then agrees to do the play and a casting call is placed in Variety newspaper.

Roger listens as one actor after another auditions, including Arthur Packard and Jason Green until there is only one left. L.S.D. comes onstage and asks Carmen if this is where to audition for Boomerang Baby. L.S.D. sings his song Love Power and after the song Max yells that L.S.D. is their Hitler. Springtime for Hitler opens at the Playhouse Theatre. Max walks over to the Drama Critic and gives him a bribe. As the Drama Critic goes into the theater, he throws down the hundred dollar bribe in front of Max. As the play goes on, Max and Leo watch as the crowd's faces show disapproval. Max and Leo leave to the bar across the street and the next act starts. The patrons start to laugh during the scenes of Eva Braun whining to L.S.D. as Hitler. Across the street Max tells The Bartender to give a round of drinks to everyone in the house, which consists of him, Leo and The Drunk. The audience continue to laugh as L.S.D. acts with Goring and Goebbels. Max and Leo start to worry when members of the audience come into the bar and talk about how much they like Springtime for Hitler during its intermission. Franz Liebkind runs to the back of the stage and drops the curtain to try and stop the play and then goes onstage to tell the audience that they are victims of a hoax. He is knocked unconscious and the crowd laughs harder. Max and Leo return to their office and Roger congratulates Max on his hit, but runs off when Max attacks him. Max and Leo then struggle with their accounting books, but are interrupted by Franz who starts shooting at them. Ulla walks into the room and asks if they need anything and Max tells her to ask Franz if he would like coffee to distract him. Franz tries to commit suicide but has no more bullets. They decide to blow up the theater and end up blowing themselves up. Max, Leo and Franz are brought to trial and despite Leo's passionate speech, found guilty. In prison they create a play called Prisoners of Love and again sell more value in the play than legally possible to other prisoners and the prison warden.