To Be or Not to Be
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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… More
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 97%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"To Be is a very funny comedy, salted to taste with melodrama and satire."
‑ , TIME Magazine
"To say it is callous and macabre is understating the case."
‑ Bosley Crowther, New York Times
"one of Lubitsch's greatest works and one of the most inventive anti-Nazi films to emerge from Hollywood"
‑ James Kendrick, Q Network Film Desk
"Lubitsch understood at the time, even if many critics and filmgoers didn't, that all those elements and all that rule-breaking make To Be Or Not To Be brilliant."
‑ Keith Phipps, The Dissolve
"Like Chaplin before him in The Great Dictator, Lubitsch aimed a wet raspberry in Der Fuhrer's face."
‑ Mark Bourne,
"Lubitsch's guidance provides a tense dramatic pace with events developed deftly and logically throughout."
‑ Variety Staff, Variety
"One of the most profound, emotionally complex comedies ever made, covering a range of tones from satire to slapstick to shocking black humor."
‑ Dave Kehr, Chicago Reader
"Singing "Heil pbbt!" right in Der Fuehrer's face was certainly an act of resistance, and Lubitsch, Benny, Lombard, and company sure knew how to carry the tune."
‑ Christopher Long, Movie Metropolis
"A masterpiece satire around the Second World War is more likely to be appreciated now after some distance."
‑ David Parkinson, Empire Magazine
"One of film's great farces."
‑ Dennis Schwartz, Ozus' World Movie Reviews
"It's certainly one of the finest comedies ever to come out of Paramount."
‑ , Time Out
"Terribly funny."
‑ Charles Taylor,
"To Be or Not to Be has all the hallmarks of a Lubitsch comedy: a solidly constructed plot, good comic pacing, a light touch, and strong performances from top to bottom. [Blu-ray]"
‑ Peter Canavese, Groucho Reviews
"Royalties from Springtime for Hitler in Germany outta be sent to Lubitsch's family."
‑ Dan Jardine, Cinemania
"Lubitsch carefully mixes his usual brand of sophisticated humor with a bit of bittersweet."
‑ Jeffrey M. Anderson, Combustible Celluloid
More reviews for To Be or Not to Be on Rotten Tomatoes