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To Be or Not to Be 1942 123movies

To Be or Not to Be 1942 123movies

Hollywood's Happiest Star in the Picture You Must Not Miss!Mar. 05, 194299 Min.
Your rating: 0
5 1 vote

Synopsis

Watch: To Be or Not to Be 1942 123movies, Full Movie Online – Joseph and Maria Tura operate and star in their own theater company in Warsaw. Maria has many admirers including a young lieutenant in the Polish air force, Stanislav Sobinski. When the Nazis invade Poland to start World War II, Sobinski and his colleagues flee to England while the Turas find themselves now having to operate under severe restrictions, including shelving a comical play they had written about Adolf Hitler. In England meanwhile, Sobinski and his friends give Professor Siletski – who is about to return to Poland – the names and addresses of their closest relatives so the professor can carry messages for them. When it’s learned that Siletski is really a German spy, Sobinski parachutes into Poland and enlists the aid of the Turas and their fellow actors to get that list back..
Plot: During the Nazi occupation of Poland, an acting troupe becomes embroiled in a Polish soldier’s efforts to track down a German spy.
Smart Tags: #screwball_comedy #reference_to_william_shakespeare #beard #world_war_two #reference_to_adolf_hitler #reference_to_shakespeare’s_macbeth #reference_to_anna_karenina #poland #polish_resistance #reference_to_shakespeare’s_the_merchant_of_venice #reference_to_shakespeare’s_hamlet #satire #nazi_occupied_poland #impersonation #national_film_registry #deception #desperation #intrigue #dismay #despair #reprisal


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Ratings:

8.2/10 Votes: 37,635
96% | RottenTomatoes
86/100 | MetaCritic
N/A Votes: 540 Popularity: 8.438 | TMDB

Reviews:

Fiction can make fun of reality, that’s the revenge of reason over barbarity…
“To Be or Not To Be” doesn’t trivialize the barbarity of the Nazi regime as much as it ennobles art and gives an aura of metaphysical importance to laughter, as the main characteristic of the reasonable person. It’s precisely because Ernst Lubitsch could laugh at the Nazism that one shouldn’t underestimate the sadness and terror that devoured his soul. One could say the same about Chaplin’s “Great Dictator”, more focused on the inner heroism of the little people while Lubitsch’ movie is a love letter to artists, and the work of a true one.

Lubitsch grew up in Berlin and became an acting sensation after World War I before becoming one of the most promising directors of Hollywood. A precocious talent with a sense of sophistication that would be known as the ‘Lubitsch touch’, he was probably under the influence of that boost of creativity and flamboyance that made Berlin an artistic Mecca in the early 30s (like in Bob Fosse’s “Cabaret”). His film opens on Warsaw, a more suitable place for free art once Germany surrendered to swastikas. And as if he anticipated the criticism over his subject, the story features a play named “The Gestapo” and satirizing the Nazis. During a rehearsal, the man playing Hitler (Irish actor Tom Dugan) delivers a hilarious and unexpected “Heil myself”. The line gets cut by the director who makes it a matter of ethics not to make Nazis funny, much to the actor’s reluctance.

Basically, Lubitsch asks us the question: should we sacrifice a good line for the sake of seeming decency? How many times haven’t we felt the necessity to cross the barrier of good taste because it was so tempting. So the line is censored because of the risk of offending Hitler and when the Germans come on a day of September 1939, the play is cancelled once and for all. The situation resonates like Churchill’s parable about war and dishonour, fearing the Nazis is the dishonourable attitude, even when meant to play safe, you’re never safe with them, so let’s just use your best weapon, guns or gags it doesn’t matter. While I was wondering if Lubitsch would have been as loose on the Nazis if he knew about the Camps, I was hiding a chuckle because the line “so they call me Concentration Camp Ehrhardt” kept springing to my mind. Should I feel guilty?

No less than for any movie that dared to turn the subject into laughing matter, from Donald Duck’s “Der Fuerher’s Face” to “La Vita e Bella”. It’s because Nazis were human that their crimes were horrific, it’s because they were human that they should be mocked. Art is the triumph of the intellect over the brutal force, the sensitivity over cynicism, it can be sophisticated and fancy but it can’t really do without powerful sentiments, this is why the film makes a good use of Shakespeare’s lines (borrowed from “Hamlet” and “The Merchant of Venice”) and even more why it focuses on a married couple, the greatest actress of Poland Maria Tura (Carole Lombard) and her hammy husband Joseph (Jack Benny). The film opens with a sort of vaudevillian mood where Maria exploits her husband’s “Hamlet” soliloquy to bring the handsome aviator Sobinski (Robert Starck) to her room, the running gag is not overused so Marie doesn’t appear too cheap and Joseph too dumb.

There’s a fine balance between the romance and the screwball situations and they all get along with the intricacies of a plot that involves a sinister but seductive spy named Professor Siletski (Stanley Ridges), who proposes Maria to become an agent. Meanwhile, the troop must absolutely capture the man, confiscate the documents that contain names of Polish Resistant members and get rid of the spy, and this is where their Nazi costumes get quite handy. So we see Jack benny and all his friends impersonating Nazi officers and even Selitski with variable effects, sometimes with the right timing, sometimes a delay force them to rewrite the script. In a sort of meta-referential nod to his own art, Lubitsch directs actors playing directors, actors and writers, proving that sometimes a good act can be a matter of life and death. Hammy too much and your cover is blown if not your head. Maria proves to be a more restrained actress so she can dodge the Nazis’ flair, same can’t be said about Joseph and Benny’s antics endanger the film’s credibility in their exaggerated audacity, the man pushes his luck so often it’s a wonder how he did survive.

The film also suffers from a series of contrivances that happen all too conveniently near the end leading to a rushed climax only redeemed by the hilarious ending. Still, the real black spot in the film’s legacy is of course the haunting of Carole Lombard’s memory. The actress died in a plane crash a few weeks after the film’s release, the USA had just entered the war and she was collecting bonds during a tour across America. In a way, she was a victim of that war though she lived far from the ruins and ashes of Poland, her death cut one of the most promising careers short and made Gable so inconsolable he joined the war too… I avoided that film for a long time because of that story, it had saddened me a lot even more because I happen to be afraid of flying.

I couldn’t believe how many times she referred to flights during the film, the simple fact that she loved an aviator gives it an eerie feeling, it’s just as if the film was doomed to be clouded by tragedy, individual and universal. However, and that might be the secret of “To Be or Not to Be”, It’s all fiction, it’s not reality, the film was criticized when the war was still raging and now it’s a classic, once reality is as dead as fiction, what remains is the essence of art.as

Review By: ElMaruecan82
One of the great romantic/satirical comedies of all time
There is a famous review of this film by the late Sunday Times critic, Dilys Powell which begins ‘Is the joke funny?’… what Miss Powell was getting at was that, given the horror of the Holocaust, it is appropriate to laugh at the Nazis. The answer is, ultimately, irrelevant to the viewing of this modest masterpiece.

Lubitsch was, by this time, coming to the end of an exquisite career that defined the nature of sophistication in ‘light’ cinema. ‘To Be or Not To Be’ skips lightly over all of the minefield of a subject like this and it is difficult or impossible to think of any other filmmaker who might have managed it (if you look at Mel Brooks’ limp remake, you can see why).

In 1996, I presented a massive season of ‘the greatest’ films in Belfast for the centenary of cinema – 250 titles in 9 months. Of all of them, this was the film which got the greatest ovation – about 5 minutes with a nearly full house standing and applauding! They may have applauded for many reasons, but here are certainly some of them…

The very complicated narrative is presented virtually flawlessly and the comedy is never allowed to hold up the narrative. The principle actors – Carole Lombard (breathtakingly beautiful) and Jack Benny in particular, but many of the supporting cast as well – throw themselves into the affair with a gusto that is completely infectious. Apart from the satirical aspect of the story and the way in which Hitler and the Nazis are mercilessly ridiculed for their authoritarianism and the fear which is their only motivator, the film pokes gentle fun at the vanity of actors in a warm and happy manner. Finally, and most important, is the notion of farce. Farce rarely works in the cinema, but here it does, and in the grand manner – just look at how many times the situation regarding Professor Siletsky changes profoundly during the film – it is dizzying – yet the characters manage to come up with (often self-defeating or inappropriate) schemes on every occasion.

This is a wonderful work that, I have no hesitation in saying, is absolutely vital for anyone who wants to really understand the glory of the cinema. But to answer Dilys Powell’s question… yes, the joke is deliriously funny.

Review By: Balthazar-5

Other Information:

Original Title To Be or Not to Be
Release Date 1942-03-05
Release Year 1942

Original Language en
Runtime 1 hr 39 min (99 min)
Budget 1200000
Revenue 1500000
Status Released
Rated Passed
Genre Comedy, Romance, War
Director Ernst Lubitsch
Writer Melchior Lengyel, Edwin Justus Mayer, Ernst Lubitsch
Actors Carole Lombard, Jack Benny, Robert Stack
Country United States
Awards Nominated for 1 Oscar. 2 wins & 2 nominations total
Production Company N/A
Website N/A


Technical Information:

Sound Mix Mono (Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)
Aspect Ratio 1.37 : 1
Camera N/A
Laboratory N/A
Film Length 2,711 m (USA), 2,730 m (1988) (Finland)
Negative Format 35 mm
Cinematographic Process Spherical
Printed Film Format 35 mm

To Be or Not to Be 1942 123movies
To Be or Not to Be 1942 123movies
To Be or Not to Be 1942 123movies
Original title To Be or Not to Be
TMDb Rating 7.922 540 votes

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