The Classic Film Series, "Who Doesn't Need a Laugh?" selection for March is the 1942 film TO BE OR NOT TO BE
Set in Poland during World War II, this black comedy was not so well-received when it premiered, partly because of the setting and partly because of the German background of director Ernst Lubitsch. Today is is considered ahead of its time: one reviewer said, The Nazis have never been mocked better." Another critic said, it is "one of the most profound, emotionally complex comedies ever made, covering a range of tones from satire to slapstick to shocking black humor."
The film is infused with the comedic talents of Jack Benny and Carole Lombard, plot twists and turns, and mistaken identities. Joseph and Maria Tura (Benny and Lombard) operate and star in their own theater company in Warsaw. When the Nazis invade Poland to start World War II, the Turas find themselves now having to operate under severe restrictions. Tura and his wife Maria, match wits with the Nazis to stop a spy who has information which would be very damaging to the Polish resistance.
Jack Benny and Carole Lombard star as the Turas, with a supporting cast including Lionel Atwill and Robert Stack. The film was directed by Ernst Lubitsch and runs 1 hour 40 minutes
To learn more about TO BE OR NOT TO BE, click HERE.