2 items from 2017
Ernst Lubitsch’s To Be or Not to Be, that controversial World War II farce/satire/dark comedy about a group of ham actors who go on a mission to save Polish resistance from the Gestapo – and, in the course of doing so, ridicule the Nazi war machine as well as Adolf Hitler himself – recently turned 75, and is one of those films that age like good wine.
“Shall we drink to a blitzkrieg?” seems precisely the kind of question you should not put into one of your actors’ mouth in a farcical comedy shot at the beginning of 1940s, when the Nazis were gradually turning Europe into a wasteland. “I prefer a slow encirclement” would be, then, a perfect illustration of a witty repartee every director making movies at that time ought to stay away from. Yet Ernst Lubitsch, that German virtuoso of sophisticated American comedy who taught millions of viewers how to use allusion, »
- The Film Stage
Bela Lugosi fan alert! This Monogram horror opus is yet another narrative-challenged fumble of unmotivated, incomprehensible characters… but Bela’s great in it, in a central role. He’s a sympathetic, non- maniac this time, if you don’t count his tendency to go into trances and smother random houseguests. Savant’s review has the lowdown on the interesting cast; Tom Weaver’s commentary has the authoritative lowdown on whole show.
Kl Studio Classics
1941 / B&W / 1:37 flat Academy / 64 min. / Street Date March 21, 2017 / available through Kino Lorber / 24.95
Film Editor: Robert Golden
Original Music: hahahahah, good one.
Produced by Sam Katzman
Directed by Joseph H. Lewis
Horror movie fans come in two varieties, obsessive and dangerously obsessive. Back »
- Glenn Erickson
2 items from 2017
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