Mel Brooks

Another Film That Didn’t Make My Top Ten List

It should have made the top ten. ‘The Producers’ is a touchstone film for me. I saw it when it came out at the cinema in a double bill with ‘Where’s Poppa?’ (or possibly ‘Kentucky Fried Movie’). The plot; terminally nervous accountant Gene Wilder attempts to do the books of sleazy theatrical agent Zero Mostel, […]

Conversations With My Agent

In 1963 Mel Brooks’ comedy partner Carl Reiner wrote the autobiographical ‘Enter Laughing’, about being a young TV scriptwriter working on live TV comedy for a showrunner described as ‘the Ulcer That Walks Like A Man’. Forced to write up his ideas just minutes ahead of the performers going in front of the cameras, he […]

Me & The Producers

We form strange relationships with the key films in our lives, and they change as we revisit them. In ‘Paperboy’ I talked about my strange journey with a film from my childhood, ‘It’s A Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World’, which took me to Los Angeles, to the Republican candidate attempting to locate its missing footage […]

Neglected Films No.5: ‘The Twelve Chairs’

When you think of Mel Brooks, you probably come up with ‘The Producers’, ‘Blazing Saddles’ and ‘Young Frankenstein’ as being career highlights. But Brooks’ second film is a real surprise. Before he switched to solely making parodies, he made another film like ‘The Producers’, i.e. a film which derived comedy from character. Brooks clearly wasn’t […]