Friday, November 14, 2014

To Be or Not to Be 1942

To Be or Not to Be

     Maria and Joseph Tura are actors in Warsaw Poland just before WWII.  They have been performing anti-Nazi plays but they are forced to change to Shakespeare after the Nazi invasion.  Professor Siletsky claims to be on the side of the Americans but he really plans to take a list of names to Hitler in order to destroy the resistance.  Maria and Joseph along with other members of the company are sent in to neutralize the Professor.
     This is the second time I’ve seen this film.  Despite the desperate circumstances in Poland at this time, there are a lot of funny moments in this film.  It did cause controversy upon release because the war was still being fought.  3 ½* (I liked this movie)

99 min, Comedy directed by Ernst Lubitsch with Carole Lombard, Jack Benny, Robert Stack, Felix Breeart, Lionel Atwill, Stanley Ridges, Sig Ruman.

Note:  Imdb 8.3 out of 10, 97% critic 94% audience on Rotten Tomatoes, Amazon 4.7* out of 5* with 99 reviews.
Special Note:  Carol Lombard was the third wife of Clark Gable.  This is the final film with Carole, on January 16, 1942, Carole and her mother along with 20 other people were flying to California when the plane crashed just outside of Las Vegas Nevada.  All passengers died and Carole was 33 years old.  Gable was so devastated by her death that he joined US Air Force and did not act for three years.  This film was remade in 1983 with Mel Brooks, Anne Bancroft, Ronny Graham, Zale Kessler.

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