A bad Polish actor is just trying to make a living when what should intrude but World War II in the form of an invasion. His wife has the habit of entertaining young Polish officers while ... See full summary »
In occupied Poland during WWII, a troupe of ham stage actors (led by Joseph Tura and his wife Maria) match wits with the Nazis. A spy has information which would be very damaging to the Polish resistance and they must prevent it's being delivered to the Germans. Written by
Ken Yousten <email@example.com>
According to the book 'The United Artists Story' by Ronald Bergan, "Unfortunately, at its release, Pearl Harbor had been attacked, Germany was sweeping across Europe, and the film's star, Carole Lombard, was killed in a plane crash while on a war-bond selling tour. Therefore, neither critics nor public were in the mood to laugh, finding the picture tasteless and callous. Over the years, however, it recovered its production costs and became a classic." See more »
When Tura is disguised as Colonel Ehrhardt in his meeting with Siletsky he is wearing the uniform of a Major General (actually an SS-Gruppenfuehrer). See more »
They named a brandy after Napoleon, they made a herring out of Bismarck, and the Fuhrer is going to end up as a piece of cheese!
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To Be or Not To Be is a satire on Hitler and the Nazis.
To Be or Not To Be is revelatory insofar as Jack Benny's acting skills. He is consistently hilarious and it is amusing to see the beginnings of techniques, facial expressions and comic timing used to such great effect later in his career on television. The movie is laugh-out-loud funny, while still carrying some important social and political messages. While the film might have been thought tasteless at the time, it certainly is hilarious today.
I didn't understand the Hitler/cheese joke. Can anyone explain it to me? Or is it just supposed to be nonsensical, with no particular meaning attached? M
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