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Video Essay: Something Wilder – The comic genius that was Gene Wilder

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This video essay by video essayist Leigh Singer is fantastic. It looks at the comic genius that was Gene Wilder. Wilder is probably most famous for his turn as Willy Wonka in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory but he made his name in Mel Brooks’ Oscar-winning, raucous comedy THE PRODUCERS, which has been restored in celebration of its 50th anniversary and was released on Blu-ray and DVD in the UK on 10th September.

Max Bialystock (Zero Mostel) is a washed-up Broadway producer forced to romance old ladies to finance his plays. When timid accountant Leo Bloom (Gene Wilder) is brought in to do his books, he inadvertently reveals to Bialystock that under the right circumstances, a producer could make more money with a flop than a hit. Bialystock cajoles Bloom into helping him achieve this end and together they come up with what they consider to be a sure-fire disaster waiting to happen – a musical version of Adolf and Eva’s love story entitled ‘Springtime For Hitler’. But is it possible that they might actually have the most unlikely hit of all time on their hands?

Directed by legendary filmmaker Mel Brooks (Young Frankenstein, Blazing Saddles), and starring Zero Mostel (The Front), Gene Wilder (Willy Wonka And The Chocolate Factory) and Estelle Winwood(Murder By Death), The Producers was adapted for Broadway in 2001, starring Nathan Lane and Matthew Broderick, and went on to win a record 12 Tony Awards.

STUDIOCANAL completed a brand new 4k restoration from a new scan of the original negative and it is out now on Blu-ray.

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