The original version of Mel Brooks’ “The Producers,” the 1968 movie that became a Broadway smash that inspired yet another movie, celebrates its 50th anniversary this year by returning to theaters nationwide for a limited engagement.
Brooks’ first film as a director starred Zero Mostel and Gene Wilder as Broadway producers whose latest scheme involves a musical so tasteless — “Springtime for Hitler: A Gay Romp with Adolf and Eva at Berchtesgaden” — that it will surely fail. Despite initial reactions of disgust and horror, the play becomes an unlikely hit, leaving the stunned producers little choice but to attempt to blow up the theater.
The movie itself met a somewhat similar fate, initially drawing mixed reviews that ranged from “wildly funny” to “gross and cruel.” It steadily grew in popularity, however, thanks to its shock humor and the endearing chemistry between the boisterous Mostel and the nebbishy Wilder. The following year, Brooks won an Oscar for his screenplay. In 2001, Brooks turned the film into a Broadway musical starring Nathan Lane and Matthew Broderick, which went on to earn a record-breaking 12 Tony awards. The two actors appeared in a 2005 movie version as well.
“The Producers” will screen June 3 and June 6 at Farmingdale Multiplex Cinemas, Westbury 12, Island 16 Cinema De Lux and AMC Stony Brook 17. For show times and advance tickets go to fathomevents.com.