Time: 88 Minutes
AWARDS: Won Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay. Nomination for Best Supporting Actor (Wilder).
I'm not sure why it took me so long to actually watch this film, but I'm so glad I finally did. I haven't laughed so hard in ages. Who knew Mel Brooks could be so funny? I know comedies are his forté, however, his style usually doesn't tickle my funny bone. In my opinion, the only other film of his to compare to the genius of this flick is YOUNG FRANKENSTEIN. This is an in-your-face farce that will make you laugh from the first frame to the last...and all the way through. Its over-the-top silliness is so infectious you root for the two leads, played brilliantly by Mostel and Wilder, to fail miserably. It works so well because they are playing it straight, letting the wackiness of the plot create all of the humor.
Unfortunately, these two screw-ups, whose plan is too make money by producing the worst Broadway show ever, can't even do that right. This is without a doubt Wilder's funniest performance ever. The show they produce, "Springtime for Hitler," is too hysterical for words. Mainly because it's beyond offensive. There is no way Brooks would have been able to make this movie today. What keeps you involved is the relationship between Mostel and Wilder, who play off each other beautifully, despite wildly divergent styles. Their first meeting where Mostel's character practically gives Wilder a nervous breakdown is one of the funniest I have ever seen. They aren't the nicest of guys, but you can't help liking them anyway. Though the film has some very silly moments, it's more demented and clever than most of Brooks' other work, which is a tone and style I greatly prefer. A must-see comedy classic.