Just seeing the title of this film makes me start giggling as the song "Springtime for Hitler" springs to mind. Dicky Shawn singing "Love Power" is pure comedic magic. Some of the business with the blonde bombshell secretary is quite dated by now, but the bulk of the movie is delightful.
Brooks has an old school Catskills style of humor that is somewhat of an acquired taste at times. The movie is SAVED by the over-the-top zany performances by both Mostel and WIlder, as well as the supporting cast of Shawn, Mars and Hewett. Some straight up silliness going on here and shades of things to come. It's worth a watch for the history of comedy it represents in some way. Not perfect, but fun.
I think the film didn't age well. Most gags are far too outdated and there is a lack of timing because Zero Mostel is dominating the whole piece with his character and doesn't leave enough room for the others. The 2001 musical version is much more elaborated and snappier.
Importance of this comedy lies not so much in the sheer humor itself, but in it's daring provocativeness and theatrical tone, maneuvering the story towards utter absurdity. The kind of humor which will eventually be the explored by early Woody Allen, but finally refined and perfected by Monty Python, both of whom were undoubtedly influenced by Mel Brooks' successful debut.
Still very funny, though a bad taste comedy about Nazis probably always will be. As much as the chemistry of the two leads is great, I enjoy the supporting cast more, especially the Secretary and the Nazi sympathising playwright. Still prefer Young Frankenstein though.
It'd been a good 15 years since I watched this, and it does actually drag uneventfully for several stretches. It also embarrasses itself with dated sexism and homophobia. But you know what? Every few months I rewatch "Springtime for Hitler," and every time I laugh until I cry. And why nitpick something with these leads? With this fever pitch comic energy? With the funniest musical number ever committed to celluloid?
This is Mel Brooks' first film, and it's easily one of his best (if not, his absolute best). It's nothing less than a showcase of sheer comedic brilliance. The screenplay is delightfully daring and filled with countless unforgettable lines. And, of course, you have the incredibly hilarious performances of Zero Mostel, Gene Wilder and Kenneth Mars.