movie film review | chris tookey

To Be Or Not To Be

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  To Be Or Not To Be Review
Tookey's Rating
8 /10
Average Rating
9.24 /10
Jack Benny , Carole Lombard , Robert Stack
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Directed by: Ernst Lubitsch
Written by: Edwin Justus Mayer , from story by Ernst Lubitsch, Melchior Lengyel

Released: 1942
Origin: US
Length: 99

An egotistical actor-producer (Jack Benny, pictured centre) and his actress wife (Carole Lombard, left) cope with the Nazi occupation of Warsaw.
Reviewed by Chris Tookey

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Very funny, with two outstanding performances from Benny and Lombard (who died in a plane crash shortly after filming). Lombard's death and the fact that to many people the Nazis were no laughing matter earned the film mixed reviews. Mel Brooks and Anne Bancroft did a moderately amusing remake in 1983, but this is the better version: it's right up there with Lubitsch's masterpieces. Werner Heymann's music was Oscar-nominated. Rudolph Mate's cinematography, Vincent Korda's art direction and Edwin Justus Mayer's witty script should have been.

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