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Tuesday, May 16, 2006

The Producers on The Producers 

Oftentimes you hear a lament from creative entertainers. The lament states that their creativity is hampered by clueless producers and network/studio executives who "improve" an idea into the ground.

Mel Brooks has provided evidence that these laments are nothing new:

With the DVD of the musical film version of "The Producers" released on Monday, the veteran writer-director reminisced about the struggle he had to get the original 1968 comedy made when he pitched the idea to Universal Pictures, then headed by legendary Hollywood powerhouse Lew Wasserman.

"Universal sent the scripts to Lew Wasserman and (the other executives) and they said, 'We love this movie,' but we just want to make one small change.'

"I said, 'Fine, what is it?' They said that instead of making a Broadway play about Adolf Hitler, make it about Mussolini instead because we couldn't possibly make a movie about Hitler,"...

Brooks, 79, said his reaction to Universal's request was a simple: "'What, are you crazy?' But they insisted they could not make a picture about Hitler. I was going to entitle the film 'Springtime for Hitler.' So I took it to Joseph E. Levine of Embassy Pictures, and he said, 'You want Hitler, you got Hitler. Just don't call it 'Springtime for Hitler.' So I came up with the ironic title of 'The Producers.'"

"Springtime for Hitler" remained the name of the play in the movie.

From the Ontario Empoblog (Latest OVVA news here)

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