July 28, 2015

Mel Brooks

Mel Brooks

Source: Shutterstock

We”€™ve already established that I”€™m a persnickety cinematic party pooper. But come on”€”at the risk of getting all “€œHorse With No Name“€ on you, you must admit that the entire conceit of The Producers doesn”€™t withstand a moment’s scrutiny:

You”€™ve purchased a ticket to a musical called Springtime for Hitler.

The theater marquee says Springtime for Hitler.

So when the curtain goes up and a bunch of chorus boys in SS uniforms start singing, “€œSpringtime for Hitler in Germany…”€ WHY ARE YOU SHOCKED AND DISGUSTED?

Brooks always counters anti-Producers critics (no, Imm isn”€™t the first) by pointing out the obvious: that he was making fun of Hitler.

But what’s brave about that? Hitler managed to look pretty stupid without much help, and when it mattered, neither The Great Dictator nor (the far superior) That Nazty Nuisance accomplished sweet eff-all. In fact, Chaplin’s wrongheaded paean to commie pacifism during the former’s finale retains its toxicity.

Too many Professional Jews persist in fighting the (what, third-to-?) last war. Like Imm, they”€™ve found battling belligerent Islam less appealing than going after imaginary Nazis, be they on the Broadway stage or allegedly lurking in Canadian men’s rooms.

In this effort, they are greatly assisted by the Southern Poverty Law Center. Usually. Alas, poor hapless Jeffery Imm just discovered that while he is very interested in the SPLC, the SPLC isn”€™t very interested in him.

“€œCall the Southern Poverty Law Center and ask them if they think it’s okay to do a play about Hitler,”€ Imm pleaded with the Washingtonian.

Call they did. And”€”another buried lede”€”for possibly the first time ever, the SPLC’s Mark Potok was quoted as saying:

“€œWe don”€™t have an opinion on this.”€


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