The Producers (1968 Film) - Precedents


A showman over-selling shares in a deliberate flop, to be able to pocket the excess investment, was the basis for the RKO Radio feature film New Faces of 1937. The film starred comedian Milton Berle, dancer Ann Miller, and singer Harriet Hilliard (later Harriet Nelson of Ozzie and Harriet). This film itself was based on an earlier play, Shoestring.

An obscure murder mystery film, The Falcon in Hollywood (1944), had a much darker take with a scheming movie producer resorting to sabotage and murder when the surprisingly good performance of the inexperienced director and cast threatened to sink his investment scam.

Similarly, in the 1943 novel The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand, Howard Roark is chosen to design a resort called Monodnack Valley and it is subsequently revealed that the investors had sold 200% of the shares, convinced that the project would be a flop and that they had chosen Howard Roark as the worst possible person for the job.

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