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Max Bialystock is a seedy, disreputable, has-been Broadway producer who ekes out a living by charming love-starved little old ladies into investing in his disastrous productions. One day a timorous and neurotic accountant, Leo Bloom, arrives at Max's office to check the books on his latest theatrical fiasco. He finds a $2,000 difference in the books and naively mentions that a producer could make a killing by finding a sure-fire flop, over-financing it, and then pocketing the remainder of the investors' money after the show closes. Max becomes wildly excited and cons the reluctant Bloom into becoming his partner in producing the worst play in theatrical history. After rejecting hundreds of manuscripts, they finally find the ideal script in Springtime for Hitler , a musical comedy about Adolf Hitler and Eva Braun romping in Berchtesgaden, written by Franz Liebkind, an unregenerate Nazi who keeps pigeons and staunchly maintains that Hitler was "a swell guy with a song in his heart." After oversubscribing by 25,000%, Max and Bloom insure disaster by hiring Roger De Bris, a flagrant transvestite generally regarded as the world's worst director, to stage their play, and Lorenzo St. Du Bois, a mind-blown hippie known as LSD, to play the young Führer who danced his way to glory. On opening night, they add a final touch to their scheme by wrapping a $100 bribe around the ticket of the drama critic from the New York Times. But the play and production are so unremittingly awful that the audience interprets it as a gigantic put-on and roars with approval. Stunned to discover they are stuck with a smash hit, Max, Bloom, and Liebkind frantically try to close their show, even to the point of blowing up the theater. Apprehended and sent to jail after a trial in which they are found "incredibly guilty," they soon revert to their former tactics by producing a prison show called Prisoners of Love and selling shares--well over 100%--to their fellow inmates and the warden.