Edwin Justus Mayer

Edwin Justus Mayer

Edwin Justus Mayer Quick Links

Film RSS

To Be Or Not To Be (1942) Review


Excellent
Decades before Roberto Benigni was romanticizing the Holocaust and Mel Brooks was supposedly courting Nazi controversy on Broadway, Ernst Lubitsch made To Be or Not to Be, a tart little comedy about the Nazi invasion of Poland which, a few glitches aside, was all the more daring for having been made during the war itself, when its outcome was hardly certain. Unfortunately, Brooks remade the film in his own manner some 40 years afterward, substituting most of Lubitsch's wit with his brand of shtick - not as awful as it could have been, but definitely not a patch on the original.

To Be or Not to Be opens in 1939 on the eve of war, with a Warsaw theater troupe rehearsing a satire called Gestapo, which has been ordered shut down by the government, for fear of offending Hitler. The troupe's stars are Maria and Joseph Tura - a self-absorbed flirt and a preening ham who wouldn't know acting if it smacked him in the face - who couldn't be less interested in the outside world, until it comes crashing in. Maria (Carole Lombard, all smoky elegance) is carrying on an affair with handsome pilot Stanislav Sobinski (Robert Stack, shockingly fresh-faced and clear-voiced), while Joseph (a nimbly verbal Jack Benny) seems almost more perturbed by the fact that Sobinski walks out on his Hamlet soliloquy every night than the fact that he's doing so to meet backstage with Maria.

Continue reading: To Be Or Not To Be (1942) Review

Edwin Justus Mayer

Edwin Justus Mayer Quick Links

Film RSS
Advertisement

Occupation

Filmmaker


Suggested

Ed Sheeran, Stormzy And Alt-J Lead 2017 Mercury Prize Shortlist

Ed Sheeran, Stormzy And Alt-J Lead 2017 Mercury Prize Shortlist

This year's Mercury Prize nominees features the best of British pop.

Advertisement
Leopallooza 2017 - Festival Preview

Leopallooza 2017 - Festival Preview

Situated in a scenic Cornish valley, the eleventh iteration of the Leopallooza Festival takes place near Bude in Cornwall from July 28th to July 30th.

Linkin Park Back In Charts After Chester Death

Linkin Park Back In Charts After Chester Death

Linkin Park have returned to America's Billboard Chart following the tragic suicide of their frontman Chester Bennington last week.

Advertisement

Edwin Justus Mayer Movies

To Be or Not to Be (1942) Movie Review

To Be or Not to Be (1942) Movie Review

Decades before Roberto Benigni was romanticizing the Holocaust and Mel Brooks was supposedly courting Nazi...

Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.