To Be or Not to Be

To Be or Not to Be

Director: Ernst Lubitsch Cast: Carole Lombard, Jack Benny, Robert Stack

Blu-ray (B&W / Full Frame)

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Overview

To Be or Not to Be

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.

Product Details

Release Date: 08/27/2013
UPC: 0715515108911
Original Release: 1942
Rating: NR
Source: Criterion
Region Code: A
Presentation: [B&W, Full Frame]
Time: 1:39:00
Sales rank: 13,701

Special Features

New audio commentary featuring film historian David Kalat; Pinkus's Shoe Palace, a 1916 German silent short directed by and starring Ernst Lubitsch, with a new piano score by Donald Sosin; Lubitsch Le Patron, a 2010 French documentary on the director's career; Two episodes of The Screen Guild Theater, a radio anthology series: Variety (1940), starring Jack Benny, Claudette Colbert, and Lubitsch, and To Be Or Not To Be (1942), an adaptation of the film, starring William Powell, Diana Lewis, and Sig Ruman

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Carole Lombard Maria Tura
Jack Benny Joseph Tura
Robert Stack Lt. Stanislav Sobinski
Felix Bressart Greenberg
Lionel Atwill Rawitch
Stanley Ridges Prof. Alexander Siletsky
Sig Rumann Col. Ehrhardt
Tom Dugan Bronski
Charles Halton Producer Dobosh
George Lynn Actor-Adjutant
Henry Victor Capt. Schultz
Maude Eburne Anna, the Maid
Armand "Curly" Wright Makeup Man
Erno Verebes Stage Manager
Halliwell Hobbes Gen. Armstrong
Miles Mander Maj. Cunningham
Frank Reicher Polish Officer
Peter Caldwell Wilhelm Kunze
Wolfgang Zilzer Man in Bookstore
Olaf Hytten Polonius in Warsaw
Charles Irwin Reporter
Leyland Hodgson Second Reporter
Alec Craig Scottish Farmer
James Finlayson Scottish Farmer
Edgar Licho Prompter
Robert O. Davis Gestapo Sergeant
Roland Varno Pilot
Helmut Dantine Copilot
Otto Reichow Co-Pilot
Maurice Murphy Polish R.A.F. pilot
Gene Rizzi Polish R.A.F. Flyer
Paul Barrett Polish R.A.F. pilot
John Kellogg Polish R.A.F. Flyer
Leslie Denison Captain
James Gillette Polish R.A.F. pilot
John Meredith English wireless operator
Sven Hugo Borg German soldier

Technical Credits
Ernst Lubitsch Director,Original Story,Producer
Gordon Bau Makeup
Lawrence W. Butler Special Effects
Julia Heron Set Decoration/Design
Werner Richard Heymann Score Composer,Musical Direction/Supervision
Irene Costumes/Costume Designer
J. McMillan Johnson Art Director
Alexander Korda Producer
Vincent Korda Art Director,Production Designer
Melchior Lengyel Original Story
Frank Maher Sound/Sound Designer
Rudolph Maté Cinematographer
Edwin Justus Mayer Screenwriter
Walter Mayo Production Manager
William McGarry Asst. Director
Miklós Rózsa Score Composer
Dorothy Spencer Editor
William Tummel Asst. Director

Customer Reviews

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To Be or Not to Be 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
Anonymous 4 months ago
A comic masterpiece. The manic insanity of the Marx Brothers crossed with dry humor of Oscar Wilde.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago