101 Funniest Screenplays

“Where did I go right?” cries Max Bialystock, when his Hitler musical leaves them roaring. Mel Brooks won an Oscar and a Writers Guild Award for Original Screenplay. On the DVD re-release in 2008, Brooks said the Bialystock character was based on a producer Brooks worked for when he was 16. This producer also raised money for his shows by sleeping with elderly women who cut checks payable to plays titled “Cash.” Years later, Brooks thought of doing The Producers as a book (too much dialogue, not enough narrative), and then a play (too many scenes, too many sets), before arriving at a movie. In its early stages, the script was called Springtime for Hitler “We got close at Universal, because they said, ‘Hitler is too strong, too menacing, how about Springtime for Mussolini, we’ll do that,’” Brooks recalled. He subsequently found his own producer in Joseph E. Levine.