Michael Hertzberg

Last updated

Michael Hertzberg
OccupationFilm producer

Michael Hertzberg is an American assistant director, writer, and film producer best known for his work with director Mel Brooks.



Hertzberg was extremely influential on Brooks, having started working for Brooks as an assistant director on Brook's first film The Producers , and going on to produce several of Brooks' early films including box office hits, Blazing Saddles and Silent Movie . [1] [2] [3] Blazing Saddles was awarded the #6 slot on the American Film Institute's list of Top 100 comedy films of all time. [4] Hertzberg started working as an assistant director in commercials, television and feature films. [5] He was the first assistant director to Frank Perry on the hit cult film, The Swimmer , starring Burt Lancaster.

Hertzberg also wrote the story (with Ronald Bass) and produced Entrapment starring Sean Connery and Catherine Zeta-Jones. He produced Johnny Dangerously starring Michael Keaton and directed by Amy Heckerling (director of Fast Times at Ridgemont High . [2]

On March 27, 1984, he had signed a deal with 20th Century-Fox for a two-year agreement that would cover all directing and producing activities. [6]

Hertzberg has also been interviewed for several behind-the-scenes documentaries including Back in the Saddle (featured on the 2003 DVD release of Blazing Saddles ), The Making of The Producers (featured on the MGM Special Edition DVD release of The Producers and The Story of the Swimmer (featured on the 2014 Grindhouse Releasing/Box Office Spectaculars Blu-ray/DVD restoration). [2] [7] [8]


Related Research Articles

<i>Blazing Saddles</i> 1974 Western comedy film

Blazing Saddles is a 1974 American satirical western black comedy film directed by Mel Brooks. Starring Cleavon Little and Gene Wilder, the film was written by Brooks, Andrew Bergman, Richard Pryor, Norman Steinberg, and Alan Uger, and was based on Bergman's story and draft. The film received generally positive reviews from critics and audiences, was nominated for three Academy Awards and is ranked No. 6 on the American Film Institute's 100 Years...100 Laughs list.

Mel Brooks American actor, comedian and filmmaker

Mel Brooks is an American actor, comedian and filmmaker. With a career spanning over seven decades, he is known as a creator of broad farces and parodies widely considered to be among the best film comedies ever made. He began his career as a comic and a writer for Sid Caesar's variety show Your Show of Shows (1950–1954) alongside Woody Allen, Neil Simon and Larry Gelbart. With Carl Reiner, he created the comic character The 2000 Year Old Man. He wrote, with Buck Henry, the hit television comedy series Get Smart (1965–1970).

<i>The Producers</i> (1967 film) 1967 movie by Mel Brooks

The Producers is a 1967 American satirical black comedy film written and directed by Mel Brooks in his directorial debut and starring Zero Mostel, Gene Wilder, Dick Shawn, and Kenneth Mars. The film is about a theater producer and his accountant who, as part of a scam, have to stage the worst stage musical they can create. They eventually find one centering around Adolf Hitler and the Nazis. Because of this theme, The Producers was controversial from the start and received mixed reviews. It became a cult film and found a more positive critical reception later.

<i>The Elephant Man</i> (film) 1980 film by David Lynch

The Elephant Man is a 1980 biographical drama film about Joseph Merrick, here called John Merrick, a severely deformed man in late 19th-century London. The film was directed by David Lynch and stars John Hurt, Anthony Hopkins, Anne Bancroft, John Gielgud, Wendy Hiller, Michael Elphick, Hannah Gordon, and Freddie Jones. It was produced by Mel Brooks and Jonathan Sanger.

<i>Silent Movie</i> 1976 American satirical comedy film by Mel Brooks

Silent Movie is a 1976 American satirical comedy film co-written, directed by and starring Mel Brooks, released by 20th Century Fox in the summer of 1976. The ensemble cast includes Dom DeLuise, Marty Feldman, Bernadette Peters, and Sid Caesar, with cameos by Anne Bancroft, Liza Minnelli, Burt Reynolds, James Caan, Marcel Marceau, and Paul Newman as themselves. The film is produced in the manner of a 20th-century silent film with intertitles instead of spoken dialogue; the soundtrack consists almost entirely of accompanying music and sound effects. It is an affectionate parody of slapstick comedies, including those of Charlie Chaplin, Mack Sennett, and Buster Keaton. The film satirizes the film industry, presenting the story of a film producer trying to obtain studio support to make a silent film in the then-present 1970s.

<i>Young Frankenstein</i> 1974 film

Young Frankenstein is a 1974 American comedy horror film directed by Mel Brooks. The screenplay was co-written by Brooks and Gene Wilder. Wilder also starred in the lead role as the title character, a descendant of the infamous Dr. Victor Frankenstein. Peter Boyle portrayed the monster. The film co-stars Teri Garr, Cloris Leachman, Marty Feldman, Madeline Kahn, Kenneth Mars, Richard Haydn, and Gene Hackman.

<i>Silent Night, Deadly Night</i> 1984 American psychological slasher film by Charles E. Sellier, Jr

Silent Night, Deadly Night is a 1984 American psychological slasher film directed by Charles E. Sellier, Jr., and starring Robert Brian Wilson, Lilyan Chauvin, Gilmer McCormick, Toni Nero, Linnea Quigley, Britt Leach, and Leo Geter. The story concerns a young man named Billy, who suffers from post-traumatic stress over witnessing his parents' murder on Christmas Eve by a man disguised as Santa Claus and his subsequent upbringing in an abusive Catholic orphanage. In adulthood, the Christmas holiday leads him into a psychological breakdown, and he emerges as a spree killer donning a Santa suit.

<i>The Swimmer</i> (1968 film) 1968 drama film by Frank Perry

The Swimmer is a 1968 American surreal drama film starring Burt Lancaster. The film was written and directed by Academy Award-nominated husband-and-wife team of Eleanor Perry and Frank Perry (director). The story is based on the 1964 short story "The Swimmer" by John Cheever, which appeared in the July 18, 1964, issue of The New Yorker. The 95-minute movie adds new characters and scenes consistent with those in the original 12-page short story.

Bob Murawski is an American film editor. He was awarded the 2010 Academy Award for Best Film Editing for his work on The Hurt Locker, which he shared with his wife, fellow editor Chris Innis. He often works with film director Sam Raimi, having edited the Spider-Man trilogy, Oz the Great and Powerful, and Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. Murawski is an elected member of the American Cinema Editors, and is the co-founder of Grindhouse Releasing, an acclaimed film distribution company specializing in re-releases of cult films.

Grindhouse Releasing American film distributor

Grindhouse Releasing is a Hollywood-based independent cult film distribution company led by film editor Bob Murawski and co-founded by Sage Stallone. Grindhouse digitally remasters, restores, and produces bonus materials and video documentaries for cult film DVDs and Blu-rays which it distributes on the CAV label.

John Morris (composer)

John Leonard Morris was an American film, television, and Broadway composer, dance arranger, conductor, and trained concert pianist. He collaborated with filmmakers Mel Brooks and Gene Wilder.

Christina Jean "Chris" Innis is an American film editor and filmmaker. She was awarded the 2010 Academy Award, BAFTA, and ACE awards for "Best Film Editing" on the film The Hurt Locker shared with co-editor, Bob Murawski. She is an elected member of the American Cinema Editors (ACE) and has served as an associate director on the board.

Peter Wesley Wooley was an American film producer, author, director, and production designer with 85 films and television series to his credit, including the Mel Brooks' films Blazing Saddles and High Anxiety. He was nominated for an Emmy Award for Production Design of the movie The Day After.

Janet Landgard is an American actress and model. She starred with Burt Lancaster in the 1968 film The Swimmer written by Eleanor Perry and directed by Frank Perry. Landgard was also a regular on the 1960s television series The Donna Reed Show. She also starred in 1970's Land Raiders with Telly Savalas and the 1974 film Moonchild with Victor Buono.

Ted Zachary is an American assistant director, production manager, film producer and seasoned movie studio executive known for his sense of humor and his fairness. From the 1970s through the 2000s, Zachary worked as an executive for Viacom, MGM/UA and New Line Cinema as well as having been an assistant director on notable films such as Bob Fosse's Lenny, Shaft and Frank Perry's The Swimmer.

Laurent Bouzereau French director and filmmaker

Laurent Bouzereau is a French-American documentary filmmaker, producer, and author.

<i>Paws of Fury: The Legend of Hank</i> 2022 film by Rob Minkoff and Mark Koetsier

Paws of Fury: The Legend of Hank is a 2022 computer-animated martial arts comedy film directed by Rob Minkoff & Mark Koetsier, with additional direction by Chris Bailey. The film is a loose adaptation of the 1974 Mel Brooks film Blazing Saddles. It features the voices of Michael Cera, Ricky Gervais, Mel Brooks, George Takei, Aasif Mandvi, Gabriel Iglesias, Djimon Hounsou, Michelle Yeoh, and Samuel L. Jackson.

Nucleus Films is a UK-based independent DVD and Blu-Ray distribution label and private limited company, founded in 2003 by researcher and writer Marc Morris and film director Jake West. The label distributes rare cult films in the horror and erotica genres. They have also produced a range of documentaries and featurettes about the making of films, noted film directors and the fight against censorship.

Mel Brooks on screen and stage List of Mel Brooks directorial, screenwriting and acting credits

Mel Brooks is an actor, comedian, and filmmaker of the stage, television, and screen. He started his work as a comedy writer, actor, and then director of 11 feature films including The Producers (1967), Young Frankenstein (1974), and Blazing Saddles (1974). He is also known for his work on Broadway including, The Producers (2001).

Norman Steinberg American director, producer and screenwriter

Norman Steinberg is an American director, producer and screenwriter.


  1. AV Club "Mel Brooks" Interview by Will Harris, September 9, 2011
  2. 1 2 3 IMDB – Michael Hertzberg
  3. "Vanity Fair's Tales of Hollywood: Rebels, Reds, and Graduates and the Wild and the Wild Stories Behind 13 Iconic Films," edited by Graydon Carter, 2008, p. 198
  4. Stailey, Michael (July 1, 2004). "Review - Blazing Saddles: 30th Anniversary Special Edition". DVD Verdict. Archived from the original on July 2, 2011.
  5. "The Story of the Swimmer" (documentary), directed by Chris Innis, Grindhouse Releasing/Columbia Pictures, 2014 Blu-ray/DVD release of "The Swimmer"
  6. "Hertzberg Inks 3-Yr. Fox Deal; Films on Tap". Variety . March 28, 1984. p. 7.
  7. DVD Active Review of "The Producers" Shout Factory Blu-ray, by Gabriel Powers, 2013
  8. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on July 13, 2015. Retrieved September 7, 2015.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link) Film Score Monthly "Aisle Seat 3–25: The Swimmer, Wolf of Wall Street" by Andy Dursin, March 24, 2014