To Be or Not to Be (1942) was a Comedy - Drama Film directed by Ernst Lubitsch and produced by Ernst Lubitsch.
Lubitsch, Benny, and Lombard (in her final screen appearance) are all at their best in this classic black comedy. The two leads portray a husband-and-wife acting team in Nazi-occupied Warsaw. When flier Stack, who is mad for Lombard, discovers an imposter being sent from England to destroy the underground resistance, he passes word to the actress and the theater troupe goes into action. Benny is masterful as he dons disguise after disguise while baffling the inquisitive Nazis. Controversial upon its release for using humor as a weapon against tyranny, this is now considered one of Lubitsch's and Hollywood's finest moments.
(Source: available at Amazon AMC Classic Movie Companion)..
To Be or Not to Be was inducted into the National Film Registry in 1996.
Academy Awards 1942 --- Ceremony Number 15 (source: AMPAS)
|Best Music - Scoring||Werner Heymann||Nominated|
To Be or Not to Be (1942), a Daring Mixed-Genre Satire from Ernst LubitschBy The Lady Eve on Oct 20, 2021 From Lady Eve's Reel Life
This Hollywood-savvy item appeared in the December 1932 issue of Vanity Fair, “…although a German director [he] is now claimed by America. His gay and cynic touch, his dramatic use of detail, have reconditioned many an otherwise anemic script and saved it from the shelf – until a... Read full article
To Be or Not to Be (1942): Lubitsch Vs. The NazisBy 4 Star Film Fan on Jul 1, 2021 From 4 Star Films
“What he did to Shakespeare, we are doing now to Poland.” – Ehrhardt about Josef Tura Our story begins in Warsaw during peacetime. In some sense, this is a period piece because the gulf between the Nazi invasion of Poland in September 1939 and the comparably idyllic years prior cou... Read full article
The full "To Be Or Not To Be" pressbook, plus an audio bonusBy carole_and_co on Aug 18, 2020 From Carole & Co.
Last week, we ran excerpts from the pressbook of Carole Lombard's final film, the brilliant dark comedy "To Be Or Not To Be"(https://carole-and-co.livejournal.com/1114063.html). As we stated, Lombard's accidental death only a few days before previews forced its publicity campaign to suddenly shift i... Read full article
Carole Lombard and Jack Benny in Ernst Lubitsch’s “To Be or Not to Be”By Stephen Reginald on Aug 13, 2020 From Classic Movie Man
Carole Lombard and Jack Benny in Ernst Lubitsch’s “To Be or Not to Be” To Be or Not to Be (1942) is a comedy directed by Ernst Lubitsch and starring Carole Lombard and Jack Benny The film is set in Warsaw, Poland, before the 1939 Nazi invasion. Josef Tura (Jack Benny) and his... Read full article
Screening of "To Be or Not To Be" March 10 at Daystar CenterBy Stephen Reginald on Mar 9, 2018 From Classic Movie Man
Screening of "To Be or Not To Be" March 10 at Daystar Center To Be or Not To Be (1942)Where: Daystar Center, 1550 S. State StreetWhen: March 10, 2018Time: 6:45 p.m.Hosted by Stephen Reginald To Be or Not to Be (1942) During the Nazi occupation of Poland, an acting troupe bands together to outw... Read full article
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When Maria Tura waits for Siletsky's return, she is reading a magazine called "Wiener Mustertext." This is German for "Viennese Sample Text".
After the shooting of this film was finished, Carole Lombard told many people that this film was the happiest experience of her career from start to finish.
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