With its campy Broadway-style musical number “Springtime for Hitler,” complete with tap-dancing Nazis, could the “The Producers” be made today? It almost wasn’t in 1967, when screenwriter Mel Brooks (who also directed, for the first time) had trouble finding financing for a story about two show business con men, both Jews, that satirized the Fuhrer (“the Hitler with a song in his heart”) only 23 years after the end of World War II.
Brooks cast Zero Mostel and breakout star Gene Wilder, shot on shoestring budget and bullied everyone on set, but somehow pulled it off. The initial reviews were brutal, but the film found a following, and Brooks won an Oscar for Best Screenplay.
Monday, August 20, 7 p.m. Sebastiani Theatre, 476 First St. E. 707.885.2020.
Next in the Vintage Film Series: “Monterey Pop” on September 20.