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The Producers is an American comedy film that was directed by Mel Brooks. The black film tells a story of an accountant and a theatrical producer who have decided to bring about a sure-fire Broadway flop. Max Bialystock, one of the characters is a not-so-successful ageing Broadway producer who has to make a livelihood romancing wealthy women. He uses the money that he gets to prepare for his next 'play'.
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The other main character is Leo Broom, a Nebbishy accountant. When he enters into Bialystock's office to do his accounting work, he finds out an overage in the accounts amounting to $2,000. This is because Bialystock had raised more money in the last play than he actually needed. Bialystock tries his best to persuade Bloom to hide this relatively minor fraud. Soon, Bialystock comes up with a great idea. They are going to over-sell the shares again, on a larger scale than before, and produce a play that closes on Opening Night, thus generating losses. No one can audit the accounts of a play that incurred losses, argues Bialystock. This way they will avoid a payout and then free with the profits to Rio de Janeiro.
These characters read many bad plays and decide on a play entitled 'Springtime for Hitler'. The play is such that the act will close on the first day of the rehearsal, a guarantee that is put in place through the hiring of Roger De Bris as play's director. Bialystock and Broom are sure that they will be on the next flight to Rio De Janeiro after the much anticipated flop.
This results in a cheerfully upbeat musical play that is supposedly about Hitler's happy home life. The introduction is about a song entitled: Springtime For Hitler, celebrating the crashing of Europe by Nazi Germany. Unfortunately, for Bloom and Bialystock, their plan backfires since the audience, after an initial moment of disbelief, considers the portrayal of Hitler to be hilarious, thereby misinterpreting the production as a satire. The play is declared a smash-hit, meaning that investors will expect higher profits can than the Bialystock and Broom can pay out.
As the stunned partners stand staring at each other, the gun-wielding Franz Liebkind confronts them. He is enraged by the portrayal of Hitler by LSD, claiming that the producers have decided to break the Siegfried Oath, taken during an earlier deleted. The three blow up the theater in order to end the production. They are arrested after sustaining injuries, tried, found guilty, and imprisoned. While in prison, they try to run the same scam, only that this time, they incorporate their new colleagues in the musical.
The Searchers, a 1956 American Western film based on Alan Le May's 1954 novel. The film is in the form of a story of a middle-aged veteran of the Civil War, Ethan Edwards, who has spent many years searching for his abducted niece. The play opens up with the return of Ethan from the American Civil in 1868, after fighting for the confederacy. His brother's home is situated in the wilderness, in northern Texas.
Ethan's absence for three years suggests some sort of legal trouble or wrongdoing. This is also suggested by the many gold coins he brings with him and the Mexican war medal that he presents to his young niece as a gift. He also refuses to take the oath of allegiance to the local Texas Rangers.
Other significant events that shape the plot include the stealing of cattle in the neighborhood, the killing of Aaron's wife and son, and the abduction of Debbie and her sister Scott. These unfortunate events make the cattle-stealing incident appear like a ploy to take men away from their families, enabling the planners to commit the heinous crimes and to get away with them.
The story unfolds into great details of attack on Indians by Texas Rangers. It ends with deadly scenes where characters kill each other as conflicts continue to be resolved. For instance, Martin is reunited with Laurie as Ethan strolls alone, and vanishes into the wilderness, as the cabin door closes on his receding image.
Comparison and contrast
Both films employ the use of symbols, archetypes and genres as a way of enabling the audience understand the themes. The Producers contains many events that are typical of films of the comedy genre. The mise en scene, costume and lighting are excellent indicators of archetypes relating to the comedy genre. It is only in comedy where an audience is expected to misinterpret a flop as a political satire. The kingly image of Hitler is typical of stage comic appearances. The musical also helps to bring about a lively mood in between various comic scenes; this is typical of all black American comedies.
The setting of The Searchers is typically that of a Western film. The main symbols of this genre include the wilderness, war involving the Indians, and the American Civil War. The performance is typical of the kind of life lived by the people of northern Texas in the 19th century, centering around journeys across the wilderness and deadly, armed conflicts following livestock theft by neighboring communities. The Producers employs a distinct dramatic structure in order to fulfill the requirements needed for the audience to interpret it on the basis of their experiences of related films. This structure is achieved through use of only two main characters and the staging of a play within a play.