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Headscratchers / The Producers

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  • Exactly why would anyone willingly go see a musical advertised as a Neo-Nazi musical? The only reason this troper can think of is that season tickets were already booked for some people.
    • There might be a potential audience, but I was left wondering why they only started protesting after the show began. The title was rather direct, and you'd think that, at the very least, it wouldn't be a surprise to them.
      • They assumed no-one living could actually make a positive play about Hitler, so they assumed it would be just a Word Salad Title. Given the state of Broadway show titles both then and now, its not that hard an assumption.
      • Judging by the opening number "Opening Night" in the musical/movie musical, a lot of theatre patrons got their amusement from watching shows fail. "Springtime for Hitler" would be the ultimate failure in theory.
      • In some countries the film itself was titled "Springtime for Hitler" and people still went to see it before hearing what it was actually about, so Truth in Television.
      • In many countries nazism does not have a generally negative connotation, particularly Africa and Southeast Asia.
      • Also, they might have been expecting it to be what it unintentionally turned out to be (an over the top parody/sendup of Nazism).
      • This troper just assumed that the opening night crowd consisted of critics.
      • Plus, in the old days (when the original was made) people would go to the opening night of anything. Possibly in case it did, in fact, end up a hit, so they could say "I knew it!", possibly 'cause the opening night is just so glamorous... The audience could also have assumed it was a serious, negative historical play about the "springtime" period of the Third Reich, that is, when it seemed they would really win.
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    • It's kind of worth remembering that this takes place in the 50s. From all accounts, not many people at that time knew exactly where they stood in terms of portrayals of Hitler and Nazi Germany given the (fairly recent) revelations about exactly what it was Hitler had been doing across Nazi-controlled Europe and the extent of the atrocities. Springtime For Hitler would theoretically be one of the first post-war portrayals of Hitler and Nazism, so a lot of the audience may have just turned up out of morbid curiosity to see exactly what kind of thing it was, and then became offended when it looked to be glorifying those horrors the majority of them would have only recently learned of. That said, this troper always just assumed it was part of the joke: you get what appears to be an upper/upper-middle class audience who paid to see something called Springtime For Hitler and then get overwhelmingly offended when it turns out (at first) to be Exactly What It Says on the Tin.
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    • There are lots of real life movies, mini series and even plays about Hitler and Nazism in general that were succesfull and people went to see them, is just that people do not normally expect them to present Hitler in a good or sympathetic light (his portrayals go from Complete Monster to more of a Tragic Villain), even less to be celebrated and glorified like in the movies' musical. And although the part of "springtime" in the title may be indicative is not enough for people to assume that the play was gonna be apologetical of Nazism.
  • After taking over at the last second due to Franz's broken leg, Roger ruins "Springtime For Hitler" in Franz's mind due to his dishonorable portrayal of Hitler. Yet in the song, all the backup dancers and singers are responding to and accompanying Roger's antics like nothing's out of the ordinary. So how big a change actually did happen because Roger plays Hitler instead of Franz?
    • Possibly quite big, as mood in a prewritten play can be flipped on its head by simply how you say the lines.
    • I'm guessing most of the choreography would've remained the same, except if Franz had stayed, Hitler would've been played much more seriously and not quite so gay.
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    • The fact that the singers and backup dancers were going along with Roger's antics despite him being a last minute change is probably a testament to their acting/improv skills.
  • What the hell was going on behind the sofa in the "That Face" number if Leo and Ulla waited until marriage to have sex? Dry-humping? Rule of Funny is the most obvious solution, but give me your best shot.
    • Necking, groping, tonsil hockey, tongue wrestling, motorboating, hickey-ing...Innuendo
  • Who was willing to work on that play?
    • It's Broadway. Unless you're fantastically famous, you take whatever work you can get.
    • It's also very possible that people looked at the script, and at Roger's vision, and assumed it was a parody, just like the audience did. Because, well... come on.
  • Ok...Max found the script, raised the 2 Million from the Old Ladies, and Hired the director. So.....what exactly did he need Leo for again (other than the original idea)?
    • To avoid having Leo rat on him.
      • Also Leo could hide the extra money in the books. Just because the IRS wouldn't investigate a flop doesn't mean they could afford for someone to come along and realise they had oversold (just as Leo does at the beginning).
  • At the end of the movie, we see the old ladies crying and applauding in the courtroom gallery. They are obviously quite sympathetic to Max, and clearly don't want him to be punished. So if Max's investors were so loyal and all-forgiving...then why was the money situation such a problem to begin with? If he explained the situation to each of them (and instructed them to keep quiet), you'd think they would be willing to make all the necessary cover-ups.
    • This is explained in the stage show: the cops found two accounting books, one labelled "Show to the IRS" and the other labelled "NEVER Show to the IRS." Even if the old ladies tried to lie for Max, the evidence was pretty damning.
    • Even if everyone, including the immediate "victims", were in on the plan, it wouldn't change the fact that what Max and Leo did was still illegal. Besides, it's likely the old ladies were sympathetic to Max because of their...liasons with him and not so much out of knowing the details of the scam and being okay with it. Max is pretty well-established (at least in the show and the 2005 movie) to be regularly fleecing them with them being blissfully unaware of it (telling them to make cheques out to "Cash" which they believe to be the title of his new play).
  • Why didn't Carmen Ghia freak out at seeing Leo and Max's swastikas? The Nazis weren't exactly kind to homosexuals.
    • It's Broadway. Probably figured they were performing in something in their spare time or demonstrating a costume.

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