Tag Archives: Renee Taylor

The Set of 400: #44 – My Favorite Prince Myshkin Shoutout

Today! Because he was a better dresser than Churchill! He had more hair! He told funnier jokes! And he could dance the pants off of Churchill!

The Producers (1968)

Directed by Mel Brooks (x6)

Starring Zero Mostel (x3), Gene Wilder (x5), Dick Shawn, Kenneth Mars, Lee Meredith, Christopher Hewett, Andreas Voutsinas, William Hickey (x4), Renee Taylor (x2), Estelle Winwood (x2), Barney Martin, Madelyn Cates

You know I love me some movies about plays, and really stagey ones at that, and so – The Producers! While it would take decades for Mel Brooks’ classic to actually make it to Broadway, it should come as no surprise that it made the leap pretty seamlessly. The entire first half hour of the movie is just Zero and Gene’s one room shtick to set up the plot – and wildly funny shtick it is. And with the exception of a handful of NYC street scenes, it’s just one room after another hosting wacky characters and even wackier theatrics. A few of his other films would grab Oscar nominations, but The Producers is the reason Mel is rocking that EGOT – winning Best Screenplay in 1968, as well as Best Musical, Best Book of a Musical, and Best Original Score for the stage version in 2001 (He also won Grammys for Producers related work, but already had one on the shelf for The 2000 Year Old Man in the Year 2000 as Best Comedy Album).

Just to wrap this up, he also won three Emmys for Guest Comedy Actor on Mad About You, and one for writing on a Sid Caesar special in the ’60s

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The Set of 400: #326 – My Favorite Blindfolded Driving

Today! Because it’s not deer! Beer! It’s a typo! Use your head, for Christ’s sake!

Delirious (1991)

Directed by Tom Mankiewicz

Starring John Candy (x3), Mariel Hemingway, Raymond Burr, Emma Samms, Dylan Baker (x2), Charles Rocket, David Rasche, Zach Grenier, Jerry Orbach, Renee Taylor, Mark Boone Junior (x2), Patrick Bristow, Robert Wagner

The third film on the list so far to feature a one-word adjective as the title (counting both versions of Notorious, Hitchcock’s #370 and Biggie’s #329), Delirious is a pretty minor comedy, in all honesty, but I really enjoy the plot’s hook – soap opera writer Jack magically entering his own script and assuming leading man status in his own fictional life, and then watching it progressively go to hell. Populated with TV staples such as Perry Mason himself Raymond Burr, General Hospital‘s Emma Samms, Sledge Hammer David Rasche, and Falcon Crest‘s Andrea Thompson, it manages to toe the interesting line between soapy authenticity and decidedly absurdist film comedy, thanks largely to Candy’s terrific work straddling both ends of the story. Continue reading

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