|“||I VAS NEVER A MEMBER OF ZE NAZI PARTY! I ONLY FOLLOWED ORDERS! I HAD NOTHING TO DO VITH ZE WAR! I didn't even know zhere vas a war on! We lived in ze back, right across from Swizterland. All ve ever heard vas yodeling!||„|
|~ Franz upon seeing Max and Leo come up to his roof, and screaming that he wasn't a Nazi, thinking Max and Leo were from the government.|
Franz Liebkind is a character from Mel Brooks' musical comedy The Producers. He is a Neo-Nazi who worships Adolf Hitler and will try to kill anyone who makes a fool out of his beloved Fuhrer. He is not so much a villain at the start of the film but later becomes aggressive and tries to kill the main characters Max Bialystok and Leo Bloom, and two other characters after they insult Hitler in front of him.
He was portrayed by the late Kenneth Mars - who also portrayed Gloomy the Clown in Bonkers- in the 1968 film, and by Will Ferrell - who also portrayed Jacobim Mugatu in Zoolander, Cam Brady in The Campaign, Lord Business in The LEGO Movie, the title character in Megamind, and Larry the Architect in the MTV Movie Awards' parody of The Matrix Reloaded - in the 2005 film.
Franz Liebkind worships Hitler, even after he became a Neo-Nazi. He has severe anger management problems, as he will aggressively attack anyone who makes fun of Hitler in front of him. He is also very strict on the "sacred seigfried oath", which means full allegiance to Hitler on pain of death.
Franz Liebkind (also known as Hans Liebkind) was once a Nazi working for Hitler, and after the Fuhrer's death, he went into retirement and became a Neo-Nazi while still worshipping Hitler. As a Nazi he was a Carrier Pigeon keeper and as a Neo, he still keeps his Pigeons. His favourite one he named Adolf. In some earlier versions of the films script, he was Hitler's butler.
In the film
Franz Liebkind is first shown on his roof top where he is talking to his birds. He tells one of them to send a message to a woman in Argentina. After the bird flies off the wrong way he yells "Hilda! Vere are you going?! Argentina's zat vay!" After that, Producers Max Bialystock and Leo Bloom come up to visit him to talk about his play Springtime For Hitler. Scared that they are agents from the Government, he quickly exclaims excuses that he was never a Nazi and just an innocent person who did not know about WWII. They tell him that they are not Government agents and that they are producers who want to put his play on Broadway. Franz get overjoyed by the chance and gets eagerly excited. After telling his birds, Max tells him to sign the contract to the play. Franz instead refuses and tells them that before he signs thay have to prove to him that they believe in Hitler as much as he does. He tells them that to prove it, they must join him in dancing to Hitler's favourite tune Der Guten Tag Hop-Clop. They reluctantly do so and once done, Franz tells them that before he signs they have to take the "Sacred Seigfried Oath", which is eternal allegiance to Hitler. Leo is not so sure about it as by taking the oath they are slowly becoming Nazi's themselves. Franz gives them swastika armbands with the Nazi symbol on them, and they reluctantly take the oath. Franz also reveals Hitlers middle name to be Elizabeth. After they take the oath, Franz signs the contract and as they leave he tells them that the penalty for breaking the Seigfried Oath is death. They leave the building, with Franz happily exclaiming that he's never been so happy since the Nazi's crushed Poland. He then runs off to his birds and reprises Der Guten Tag Hop-Clop while happily finishing with "Heil you-know-who!"
He later appears at the auditions for Hitler. After he observes and auditioner playing Hitler like a fool and mocking him, Franz angrily begins screaming and shouting, telling the actor "The Fuhrer vasn't a mousey little mamas-boy, the Fuhrer vas BUTCH!" He then shows the producers the right way to sing the Fuhrer's song Haben Sie Guhurt Das Deutsche band. After doing a phenomenal job at the song, Max stands up and happily yells "That's our Hitler!!!" to which Franz gives a surprised and shocked look.
On opening night, Franz arrives outside the theatre in a motorbike, along with the flamboyantly gay director of the play, Roger DeBris and his equally flamboyant partner Carmen Ghia. After Leo wishes them all good luck in the play, they are shocked and Franz along with the other two, explain in a song why it's bad luck to say good luck on opening night and that the proper thing to say is "break a leg". After the song, Franz goes to change into Hitlers outfit and the others call out to him "break a leg!" However he literally breaks his leg after falling down. As he is now unable to play Hitler, Max recasts Roger as Hitler. The play begins with the song "Springtime for Hitler". At first the audience is shocked and disgusted at the Nazism of the play, but after Roger steps out dressed as Hitler and acting really flamboyantly, the audience sees the play as a mockery of Hitler and love it.
Once the play is over, Carmen and Roger come to congratulate Max and Leo for putting on such a great play, but right at that moment Franz Liebkind bursts in wearing a leg cast and crutch and holding a gun in his hand. He becomes severely mad at Max and Leo for breaking the Seigfried Oath and for making a fool out of Hitler. He begins trying to shoot them all while angrily yelling at them. He tells them that he's shooting at them for making Hitler look like a fool, to which Roger and Carmen jump out from behind a couch saying "And he didn't need our help". Enraged at the insult, Franz goes even more crazy. Max and Leo hide under a table while Roger and Carmen hide in the closet. Franz finds Max and Leo holding each other in fright under the table and yells "You sniveling cowards! Cringing under a desk. Clinging on for life like baby butterflies. Franz Liebkind will show you how to die like a man!" He holds his gun to his own head in an attempt to kill himself, but ultimately fails after failing to get the bullet out. Unsuccessful he sadly throws his gun onto the couch and it finally shoots a bullet. Franz sadly slouches down onto the couch alongside his gun. Max gets the gun and hands it to Franz and tells him that he shouldn't kill them but to kill the actors instead. Franz angrily agrees, but Leo just slaps him on his arm and stops Max from giving him the gun. The police are then heard at the door after hearing the gunshots and demand it be opened. Max and Leo quickly run out of the room and the police break in attempting to find Franz. Franz then begins exclaiming once again that he was never a member of the Nazi party. They then attempt to arrest him but Franz begins escaping with a cop chasing after him, but then Franz accidentally falls down a flight of stairs. The lead officer yells down to him "What happened?" with Franz replying "I broke... ze other leg!"
Franz is later seen in prison with both legs in casts playing the piano to the tune of the final song in the film Prisoners Of Love. He, along with Leo and Max, are pardoned by the governor after hearing the great song. At the end he is happily seen dancing with his birds.
In the end credits, he is not seen, but heard singing Der Guten Tag Hop-Clop Goes On.
As the end credits finish Franz can be heard whispering "Don't forget to buy Mein Kampf in paper back. Available near you... at Borders Books... or Barnes and Noble... und Amazon.com...........Guten Tag!"
Once the end credits DO finish, he appears along with the rest of the cast in a post-credits scene, telling the viewers to get out now that the movie has finished.
. No, No, No. Zis man could never play Adolf Hitler. The Fuhrer vasn't a mousey little mamas-boy. The Fuhrer vas BUTCH! And zat is not how you sing Haben Sie Guhurt Das Deutsche Band. Zis is how you sing Haben Sie Guhurt Das Deutsche Band!
. (After Max and Leo leave his roof). (Sighs) Vat nice guys. Broadvay! Oh, I've never been so happy since we crushed Poland!
. Broadvay! Oh, joy of joys! Dream of dreams, I can't believe it! I must tell my birds!
. Stand still! How can I shoot you if you keep moving?!
Franz: Halt! I forgot to tell you. Ze penalty for breaking the seigfried oath... is Dess.
Max: Dess? Is that anything like death?
. (While feeding his birds) Yummy, Yummy, Yummy. Goes right into your belly!
. You have broken ze seigfried oath! You must die! You all must die!
. Zis is not good. I'm not killing anybody. You must co-operate!
. Ja, Ja, my Lieblings!
. Alright, Bialyshtok und Bloom! Now I got you. Say Your Prayers! (They Do) Auf Weidersehen!
. (After he, Bialystok and Bloom are pardoned) Adolf! You must tell ze other birds!
. You know, not many people know zis, but ze Fuhrer vas a terrific dancer!
. Zat's because you were taken in by the BBC! Filthy British lies! But did they ever say a bad word about Winston Churchill?! Churchill?! Blagghh!!! Vith his cigars and his brandy and his rotten paintings! ROTTEN! Hitler! There vas a painter. He could paint an entire apartment in one afternoon. Two coulds.
Max and Bialystok: Elizabeth?
Franz: Ja, that vas his middle name. Not many people know zis, but ze Fuhrer vas descended from a long line of English queens.
. Sing Sing? Nein! You'll never take me alive!
. Ah, the hop-clop! It's been so long!
- He calls his birds his "Lieblings", which means "darlings" in German.
- In a deleted scene, he is seen on his rooftop calling his bird to him. He then sings a short song about his past life In Old Bavaria. This scene takes place just before Franz's first appearance.
- He is shown not to be fully evil, as all he wanted to do was clear Hitler's name from bad. He would be put as an Anti-Hero since, while no character in the film is really a villain (except for Max Bialystok, who is antagonistic), Franz is the closest character in the story to be labeled as the villain of the story.
- His birds are named, Otto, Bertha, Heinz, Heidi, Hilda, Wolfgang, and Adolf.
- His name translated in English basically says "Franz Lovechild", Liebe meaning love and Kind meaning child.