The man behind Springtime for Hitler

The man behind Springtime for Hitler


norman lebrecht

July 09, 2018

Alan Johnson, choreographer of the uber-camp ‘Springtime for Hitler’ sequence in Mel Brook’s film of The Producers, has died at a very great age.

It can’t have been easy to bring this off.

Alan also wrote dance sequences for the movie of West Side Story.

He probably had the best job in Hollywood.


  • O. K. says:

    A hit, but not on the bull’s eye certainly:)

  • Nick2 says:

    Did he really work on the movie of West Side Story? Jerome Robbins had three Assistant Choreographers and four Dance Assistants working with him on the movie – but not Alan Johnson. He also appears nowhere on the movie’s credits on the Imdb site. On the other hand, he did re-stage Robbins original choreography on several US national tour productions and elsewhere. But he was not permitted to change one step! Robbins and the entire Bernstein estate which looked after the rights of the copyright holders went to great lengths to protect the work of the original creators.

  • Sue says:

    Mel Brooks – possibly the most over-rated public figure in popular culture. Unfunny to a disturbing degree; but he always laughs at his own, er, jokes. Embarrassing beyond belief.

    • Marc says:

      Sue: You should have been in UCLA’s Royce Hall when the bean-eating scene at a students-only, pre-release screening of “Blazing Saddles” sent the full house into an explosion (pardon the bean reference) of laughter that shook the rafters. Not to mention the movie’s famous line, “Are we…” Mel was on hand for a post-screening Q&A that was almost as funny as the movie. And what about “Young Frankenstein”? The unforgettable Cloris Leachman, exclaiming, “Yes! Yes! He vus my boyfriend!” I’m sorry you are unable to find the humor in Mr. Brooks’ unique view of life. The rest of the world gets the, er, jokes…

      • Sue says:

        Great for students and teenagers, maybe, but for sophistication I’ll take Billy Wilder. No farting in his films or screenplays.

        • AKP says:

          I am not a teenager nor a student. I like Mel Brooks. I like Billy Wilder. Therefore, where does that place me in your little narrow pigeon holes?

  • barry guerrero says:

    . . . “the goose step’s, the new step, today”

    Best Broadway production number ever!

    • Stan Bliss says:

      Right you are Barry !
      Great lyrics.
      Faster pace……..master race.
      Germany is going on “Tour”
      Pure genious