An unauthorized collection of the records of Alternate Energy Holdings, inc., its principals and subsidiaries, and their antics, trials, and tribulations

Former AEHI CEO Don Gillispie

Former AEHI CEO Don Gillispie
OK, everyone, I've got to step out for just a minute. I'll be right back, I promise!

Friday, December 10, 2010

AEHI: The Movie! Academy Award Winning Screeplay by Mel Brooks

People often ask just what the hell Alternate Energy Holdings, Inc, and their CEO, Don Gillispie are up to, if their plans to build a nuclear power plant have almost no chance of coming to fruition, especially after their unbroken record of failures followed by lawsuits.

It looks almost as if Mel Brooks was predicting the future when he wrote his Academy Award-winning screenplay, The Producers. The similiarities are both hilarious and troubling.

If you haven't seen the film, or it's been a while, here is the plot summary from Wikipedia:

"Max Bialystock (Zero Mostel) is a failed, aging Broadway producer who ekes out a living romancing lascivious wealthy elderly women in exchange for money for his "next play". Nebbishy accountant Leo Bloom (Gene Wilder) arrives at Bialystock's office to do his books and discovers there is a two thousand dollar overage in the accounts of Bialystock's last play because he raised more money than he needed. Bialystock persuades Bloom to hide the relatively minor fraud; and, while shuffling numbers, Bloom has a revelation, which Bialystock immediately puts into action. They will over-sell shares again but on a much larger scale and produce a play that will close on Opening Night. No one audits the books of a play presumed to have lost money, thus avoiding a pay-out and leaving the duo free to flee to Rio de Janeiro with the profits. Leo is afraid such a criminal venture will fail and they will go to prison; but Max eventually convinces him that his drab existence is no better than prison.

After reading many bad plays, the partners find the obvious choice for their scheme: Springtime for Hitler: A Gay Romp with Adolf and Eva at Berchtesgaden. It is "a love letter to Hitler" written in total sincerity by deranged ex-Nazi Franz Liebkind (German for "Frank Lovechild"), portrayed by Kenneth Mars. They convince him to sign over the stage rights, telling him they want to show the world "the true Hitler, the Hitler with a song in his heart." To guarantee that the show is a flop, they hire Roger De Bris (Christopher Hewett), a director whose plays "close on the first day of rehearsal". The part of Hitler goes to a charismatic, but only semi-coherent, hippie named Lorenzo St. DuBois, aka LSD (Dick Shawn), who can barely remember his own name and had mistakenly wandered into their theater during the casting call. After Bialystock sells 25,000 percent of the play to his regular investors (dozens of lustful little old ladies), they are sure they are on their way to Rio.

The result of all of this is a cheerfully upbeat and utterly tasteless musical play purporting to be about the happy home life of a brutal dictator. It opens with a lavish production of the title song, "Springtime For Hitler", which celebrates Nazi Germany crushing Europe ("Springtime for Hitler and Germany/Winter for Poland and France"). Unfortunately for Bialystock and Bloom, their attempt backfires as, after initial dumbfounded disbelief, the audience finds LSD's beatnik-like portrayal to be hilarious and misinterpret the production as a satire. Springtime For Hitler is declared a smash-hit, which means, of course, the investors will be expecting a larger financial return than can be paid out.

As the stunned partners turn on each other, they are confronted by a gun-wielding Franz Liebkind, who is enraged by LSD's portrayal of Hitler. He says they have broken the Siegfried Oath, which they took in a deleted earlier scene. In desperation, the three band together and blow up the theater to end the production. They are injured, arrested, and tried. In spite of Leo's impassioned statement praising Max, the jury finds them Incredibly Guilty and they go to prison. There, they run the same scam, creating a new Franz Liebkind musical starring their new colleagues. It is entitled Prisoners of Love."
The Dude can't make it any more clearly than that.

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