The Producers (1967)
National Film RegistryAward nominations: Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor (Gene Wilder)Award details: (details at IMDb)
The Producers is a 1968 American satirical dark comedy cult classic musical film written and directed by Mel Brooks. The film is set in the late 1960s and it tells the story of a theatrical producer and an accountant who want to produce a sure-fire Broadway flop. They take more money from investors than they can repay and plan to abscond to Brazil as soon as the play closes, only to see the plan improbably go awry when the show turns out to be a hit. The film stars Zero Mostel as Max Bialystock, the producer, and Gene Wilder as Leo Bloom, the accountant, and features Dick Shawn as L.S.D., the actor who ends up playing the lead in the musical within the movie, and Kenneth Mars as the former Nazi soldier and playwright, Franz Liebkind. The Producers was the first film directed by Mel Brooks. He won an Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay. Decades later, it was selected for preservation in the National Film Registry and placed 11th on the AFI's 100 Years...100 Laughs list. The film was later remade successfully by Brooks as an acclaimed Broadway stage musical which itself was adapted as a film.