Endings Part 1 supplement — Ending by reentering

Zero Mostel and Gene Wilder in  The Producers .  Image via  theguardian.com .

Zero Mostel and Gene Wilder in The Producers.  Image via theguardian.com.


The Mel Brooks film The Producers tells the story of a Broadway hustler, Max Bialystock (played by Zero Mostel), and his accountant, Leopold Bloom (played by Gene Wilder), who decide to stage a flop and keep their investors’ money.  They get their hands on an awful musical, Springtime for Hitler: A Gay Romp with Adolf and Eva at Berchtesgaden, and oversell shares to investors, confident they will never have to pay them back.  Little did they expect that the show’s awfulness is misread by the audience as brilliant irony.  The show is a success, and now the two, who now owe the play's profits many times over, are in trouble.

The story ends with the two sent off to jail.  As the credits roll, the two are seen selling shares of a new show, Prisoners of Love, to their fellow inmates and the warden.  The story thus ends by reentering the building it just left.  It as if the front door is a revolving door, and those attempting to exit are simply thrown back in.

This is a familiar comic device, one that plays on the idea of people’s inability to learn their lessons, a riff repeated several times in this Abbot & Costello routine.

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