To Be or Not to Be (1942)
September 19, 2015 10:17 AM - Subscribe

In Ernst Lubitsch's bracing black comedy, an acting troupe becomes embroiled in a Polish soldier's efforts to track down a German spy. Starring Jack Benny, Carole Lombard (in her final film role), and a surprisingly beautiful Robert Stack.

A joint post between the Old Timey Film Club and the Criterion On Hulu club. If you like To Be Or Not To Be, you'll love the films posted every Tuesday on the Old Timey Film Club.

Every Monday, the Criterion On Hulu club posts a new film from the vast Criterion library available to Hulu subscribers. Criterion also posts free films for non-subscribers, and we vote on one of those each week and discuss them on Friday. (Or, as you see, sometimes on Saturdays.) More info here.
posted by Ian A.T. (7 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
I've said it before, but this movie is basically Inglorious Basterds but with Jack Benny.
posted by shakespeherian at 11:05 AM on September 20, 2015 [3 favorites]

My daughter and I are 3/4 of the way through it but had to stop early last night for bedtime. So far it's really funny! The acting felt stilted at first but I guess the style is growing on me. I'll comment more when we finish it. I have to say I really like it so far.
posted by latkes at 9:29 AM on September 21, 2015

What about poor Greenberg? ):
posted by latkes at 8:36 PM on September 23, 2015 [1 favorite]

Started slow but picked up at around the half hour mark. Required a bit of suspension of disbelief to think that the Germans were able to be fooled by all of these things, which also made following the plot a bit confusing at times.
posted by Noisy Pink Bubbles at 6:53 PM on September 25, 2015

I expected it to be funny, though not as funny as it was. As O'Brien points out in his essay, I'd never have though that you could make so many jokes from the phrase, "Heil Hitler." What I wasn't expecting is that the intrigue would be so tightly plotted and entertaining.
posted by ob1quixote at 1:30 AM on October 5, 2015 [3 favorites]

So funny. This is the first time I have seen Carole Lombard in anything and what a star she was holy shit.

I like the two doofus actors' payoffs; Rawitch (I think) learns to say the least amount possible, and Greenberg gets into something too serious to consider doing something for a laugh.

What about poor Greenberg? ):
I'm sure he's fine though :(
posted by fleacircus at 11:00 PM on December 4, 2022

I do like the two Nazis simply jumping from the plane. Cold blooded!
posted by fleacircus at 11:02 PM on December 4, 2022

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