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To Be or Not to Be

Screening on Film
Directed by Ernst Lubitsch.
With Jack Benny, Carole Lombard, Robert Stack.
US, 1942, 35mm, black & white, 99 min.

Created at the height of Germany's power during the Second World War, To Be or Not to Be is an anti-Nazi satire set in occupied Warsaw, centering on the resistance of a Polish theater company and the ham antics of its narcissistic husband and wife stars (Benny and Lombard). Ernst Lubitsch managed to pull off the impossible in this witty, sophisticated comedy, successfully satirizing Hitler and the Nazi party without wallowing in bad taste. Benny provides a memorable turn as a would be Hamlet.

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