Buried Treasures: Movies

By Matt Coughlin
March 22, 2001

by Matt Coughlin

The Producers

Directed by Mel Brooks

What do you do when you are a down-on-your-luck theatrical producer? You raise money for a cheap, sure flop and keep the overhead. That’s exactly what producer Max Biyalistok and accountant Leo Bloom do in “The Producers,” a film written and directed by Mel Brooks. Biyalistok and Bloom, played by Zero Mostel and Gene Wilder respectively, set out to produce the musical, Springtime for Hitler. Along the way, the audience in the film is shocked while you fall off your couch and bust your gut. The film was made in 1968, but can still make you double over in a good way. See this film for the laughter.


Directed by Paul Thomas Anderson

“Magnolia,” and I am not talking about steel, is a recent release (1999), but was overlooked in the theaters. But the bizarre biblical reference mid-film should not be allowed to take away from the performances or the direction of this worthwhile film. The biblical reference will not be revealed here, but this film points out the seemingly random connections we have in life and how life is a series of coincidences. Tom Cruise does an excellent job of hating women, William H. Macy is excellent as the unfortunate result of being on television as a quiz show whiz kid, and Julianne Moore’s breakdown has to be real. None of the other actors are really big names in film (no teen-zines here), yet their abilities shine through. See this film for the acting.

Sweet and Lowdown

Directed by Woody Allen

Who does not find an immature, irresponsible, arrogant, obnoxious, drunken guitar player fascinating? Emmett Ray was a jazz guitarist in the 1930’s and in “Sweet and Lowdown” Woody Allen makes us laugh at the irresistible little man played by Sean Penn. Allen shows us the drunken stupor, the random shooting of rats and the dreams of fame and fortune that fuel the enjoyable character of Ray. Despite his crass, crude personality there is a simple nature to Ray that we can all identify with which makes the character lovable. See this film for fun.

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Matt Coughlin

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