To Be or Not to Be (1942)


(1942, Ernst Lubitsch)

A Polish theater troupe attempts to flee Nazi rule after their country is invaded. Now, add the collective comic genius of Jack Benny, Carole Lombard and Ernst Lubitsch to the mix. The fact that they turn a dramatic tale on its ear DURING THE WAR they are spoofing makes for a classic.

Some great comedic scenes and characters in this, which are directly contrasted by the imminence of the Nazi presence. Jokes about concentration camps may be a bit hard to swallow for modern audiences, knowing now what took place there. But for 1942, stinging Hitler was dangerous business, and director Lubitsch and his cast deftly do the job.

Just sad I didn’t catch it before now, but that’s what the Top 1000 Films Project is all about.



Posted on June 12, 2008, in Film log, Top 1000 and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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