Ernst Lubitsch directs the 1942 political satire classic To Be or Not to Be, which marked the final screen appearance of comedienne Carole Lombard. In Warsaw at the beginning of WWII, Maria Tura (Lombard) and husband Joseph (Jack Benny) perform anti-Nazi plays with their theater troupe until they are forced to switch to Shakespeare's Hamlet. Lt. Stanislav Sobinski (Robert Stack) falls for Maria and meets up with her during Joseph's famous "To Be or Not to Be" speech as Hamlet. When Stanislav is eventually dispatched for war, he implicates Maria with Professor Siletsky (Stanley Ridges), who has a secret plan to destroy the Warsaw resistance. The Polish theater troupe is then forced to use their theatrical skills to ensure their survival. Eventually, they turn to impersonating Nazi officers -- and even Hitler himself -- in order to outwit the enemy and keep the resistance safe from spies. To Be or Not to Be opened to a controversial release in 1942, when the U.S. was still very much involved in WWII. It was remade in 1983 starring Mel Brooks and real-life wife Anne Bancroft. ~ Andrea LeVasseur, Rovi
This movie is a fabulous, entertaining film! The dialogue is witty, Carole Lombard and Jack Benny are extremely funny and the comedy has perfect timing, and the supporting cast is wonderful. This is not a historical film and if lack of authenticity bothers you, the accents are all over the place. But as an entertaining movie, this is a great film!
It's a tragic shame Carole Lombard was tragically taken from us too early to actually see this film released, because with the exception of My Man Godfrey, it's her very best film. Absolutely uproarous WWII satire, and classic, undefinable "Lubitsch Touch".