A violinist in a provincial Polish orchestra, whose husband is the director of the ensemble, on a visit to the US ties up with the world- renowned symphony conductor. As it turns out he was... 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 <firstname.lastname@example.org>
The biggest problem early in the shoot was Jack Benny's insecurity about acting the central role in such an important production by a major filmmaker. He seemed dumbfounded that Ernst Lubitsch had not only cast him but was building the film around him. Finally Lubitsch set him straight: "You think you are a comedian. You are not even a clown. You are fooling the public for 30 years. You are fooling even yourself. A clown - he is a performer what is doing funny things. A comedian - he is a performer what is saying funny things. But you, Jack, you are an actor, you are an actor playing the part of a comedian and this you are doing very well. But do not worry, I keep your secret to myself." See more »
During the flight to Warsaw, the wire holding the obviously model airplane is visible. See more »
It's becoming ridiculous the way you grab attention. Whenever I start to tell a story, you finish it. If I go on a diet, you lose the weight. If I have a cold, you cough. And if we should ever have a baby, I'm not so sure I'd be the mother.
I'm satisfied to be the father.
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Comedies rarely stand the test of time - this one does: one of the
funniest films I have ever seen.
When I was 16 (20 years ago, sigh...), this was re-released for a short
time in a local art-house cinema, and my father insisted I go watching
it with a friend. Well, teenagers don't normally line up to see 50 year
old black and white comedies, but - man, was I glad I did!
This is a pitch black comedy that feels as fresh today as it must have
then; in fact, this must have been kind of a shock in 1942. There are
no cheesy clean characters or cringe-worthy lines: this is a firework
of fast, witty dialogue with an edge and the sexiest, cleverest (and
most morally ambiguous) female protagonist I have ever seen in a film
before the "New Hollywod" era.
Even the structure and the way the story evolves are very modern; there
are flashbacks and twists and turns that might be very common in
contemporary films but must have seemed almost "avant-garde" at the
The biggest fun, of course, is how Lubitsch takes the pi** out of
Hitler's blind, fanatic followers. I don't believe the Nazis have ever
been mocked better than in this comedy masterpiece (and I only hope old
Adolf has seen it, too). Mel Brooks' remake is not bad, but the
original is simply killer.