The Producers

DVD Rating: ***1/2

Reviewed by: Amber Wilkinson

Read Amber Wilkinson's film review of The Producers
The Producers

Available on Region 1 double-sided DVD in the US for some time, it's a wonder it has taken so long for this comedy favourite to make it over the water - but it is worth the wait. The same extras are found on both Region discs, with the exception of a photo gallery, which our American cousins get to play with. The presentation on the UK issue, however - split over two discs - is slightly more polished.

The Making Of The Producers is an excellent hour-long feature, offering an insight into the background of the film and what happened post-production, featuring interviews with Mel Brooks and all of the stars and crew, who are still with us, including Gene Wilder, the still-stunning Lee Meredith, who obliges with a repeat rendition of Ulla's dancing to act as an intermission, and Kenneth Mars.

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It covers everything from Brooks' struggle to get a studio to make it, the reality of acting with such a huge personality as Zero Mostel and the accidental screening by Peter Sellers which ensured the movie got the release it deserved.

To tie in with this latter piece of good fortune, filmmaker Paul Mazursky reads out Peter Sellers' plaudit advert which he bought to promote the film. There is also a gallery of sketches, showing the production drawings which run with a piece of music from the movie and a three-and-a-half minute outtake - although it is easy to see why this was left on the cutting room floor. Finally, there is a wonderfully Sixties-style trailer.

Considering the age of the film stock, the print is good. There is some graining in places but by and large the colours are vibrant, the blacks deep with scratches and flaws at a minimum.

All in all this is an excellent disc, rounded out by the solid documentary. Plus, if Mel Brooks' commentary on Blazing Saddles is anything to go by, you shouldn't mourn the lack of a commentary track here. He is much better when being asked direct questions than in mid-ramble.

Reviewed on: 12 Oct 2004
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The Producers packshot
A larger-than-life Broadway producer and a mousy accountant plan to make millions out of failure.
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Product Code: MP271D

Region: 2

Sound: Dolby Digital

Extras: The Making Of The Producers, Trailer, Peter Sellers Statement read by Paul Mazursky, Sketch Gallery, Playhouse Outtake

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