To Be or Not to Be (1942) (DVD)

Discussion in 'BluRay - 720p to 1080p & DvdR' started by BLUEPLANET, Apr 19, 2012.

  1. BLUEPLANET

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    To Be or Not to Be (1942) (DVD)



    Amazon.com
    Just as Roberto Benigni found himself on the receiving end of some finger-wagging for making a comedy set during the Holocaust, so the great Ernst Lubitsch caught some heat for this extraordinary 1942 satire set behind enemy lines during World War II. In his best performance on film, Jack Benny stars as Joseph Tura, the lead actor and head of a Polish theater troupe that is suddenly enlisted as a Resistance organization when an American pilot (Robert Stack) requires protection. The twist is that the pilot has been having a series of trysts with Tura's wife (Carole Lombard), the hilarious evidence being the disruptive departure of Stack's character from a theater audience each night as the hammy Tura unknowingly cues the lovers by launching into Hamlet's famous soliloquy. The remarkable script by Edwin Justus Mayer ingeniously folds the tensions of a betrayed marriage into the comic suspense surrounding Tura and company's efforts to pull off a Mission: Impossible-like sting on the local Nazi command. Many unforgettable moments and lines of dialogue adorn this black comedy, and the performances--most memorably Sig Ruman's crisp volleys with Benny--are a dream. Above it all, however, is Lubitsch's unmistakable Continentalism, his accent on Old World manners especially in a dangerous situation, suggesting the Nazis' very vulgarity was a reflection of their profound evil. --Tom Keogh

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