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  • Carrie Specht

Iconic Comedy The Producers To Open 2018 TCM Classic Film Festival


Turner Classic Movies (TCM) announced today that it will kick off the 9th annual TCM Classic Film Festival (TCMFF) with a 50th anniversary world premiere restoration screening of the Mel Brooks groundbreaking comedy The Producers. Legendary director, producer, writer and actor Mel Brooks will be in attendance to celebrate the 50th Anniversary and his friendship with TCM.

Recognized as one of the funniest movies ever made, The Producers won an Oscar for Best Original Screenplay for Brooks and it received an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actor for Gene Wilder. Thirty years after its theatrical release, Brooks turned the film into a Tony-Award winning Broadway musical, which became a subject of the fourth season of HBO's hit show Curb Your Enthusiasm. Not yet done with the seminal comedy, Brooks then went on to make a new film adaptation in 2005 with the talents of Nathan Lane and Matthew Broderick in the leading roles. By then the man was 79 years old, and not yet ready to slow down.

When asked, TCM host Ben Mankiewicz had this to say, “Mel Brooks belongs to an elite group of entertainers, having earned all four major entertainment prizes – a Tony, an Emmy, a Grammy and a People’s Choice Award…oh, and an Oscar. From Blazing Saddles and Young Frankenstein to Spaceballs, Brooks' uniquely keen eye can both spoof and celebrate classic Hollywood. From the 2000 Year Old Man to The Producers, he has shown an ability to make us laugh as heartily as anyone else in the business.”

The timing to honor Brooks seems particularly apt, since the 2018 festival theme is Powerful Words: The Page Onscreen. It is TCM's fervent attitude that the script is the beginning of everything great about the movies. Writing focuses visions, reflects our feelings and inspires great performances on both sides of the camera. Celebrating the representation of the written word on the silver screen is a great way to remind the audience of this fact. From original screenplays to unique adaptations to portrayals of writers real and imagined, TCM will celebrate the foundation of great film: the written word.

Keeping in pace with the theme, the 2018 TCM Classic Film Festival will also be honoring screenwriter and director Robert Benton who will introduce the screenings of Kramer vs Kramer and Places in the Heart, each of which earned Benton an Oscar for Best Screenplay. Also included in the line-up for the 2018 festival screenings is a robust list of films especially reliant on the written page, such as the children's classic The Black Stallion, the crime caper The Taking of Pelham One Two Three (1974), the classic cop film Bullitt, the Japanese Shakespeare adaptation Throne of Blood, the 1949 poem inspired boxing film The Set-Up, Laurence Olivier's adaptation of Hamlet, the Ernest Hemingway inspired To Have and Have Not, the first pairing of Tracy with Hepburn in Woman of the Year, the Jack London adventure The Sea Wolf, and the fast paced banter film His Girl Friday, and so many more! For a complete list and up to the minute updates use any image on this page to go to filmfestival.tcm.com.

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