Written by / 5/26/2018 / No comments / , , , , , ,

JACK BENNY AND CAROL LOMBARD IN 'TO BE OR NOT TO BE'

Best Criterion Cover Ever YEAR: 1942
Ernst Lubitsch takes a complicated plot and with an easygoing acting style of the performers under tightly-wound direction, headed by Jack Benny and Carol Lombard, it flows from beginning to end as the ups and downs, curves, twists and turns provide both subtle humor and edgy suspense, centering on a group of stage actors in Poland before and during the Nazi takeover on the boot-heels of World War II...

They must trick their antagonists into thinking Benny... who plays a hammy actor (exactly the opposite of himself)... is a scientist who's a traitor to the good guys and... well it really doesn't matter because TO BE OR NOT TO BE has to be seen and concentrated on for the plot to make clear and interesting (as well as intriguing) sense...

Lombard & Stack TO BE Rates: ****
More or less a con artist caper movie, and unlike the Mel Brooks remake, the Germans, while not brilliant, are  genuinely imposing to instill enough danger for all the verbal laps to matter beyond hitting punchlines at the right moment...

Although everything does rely on the actors-within-the-movie hitting their own marks for the ruse to work, hence the title taken after a pivotal line from William Shakespeare's Hamlet that, if spoken by a novice stage performer, can hinder the entire show...

The fun's watching Benny trying to outdo his character's own lack of talent while Lombard is the real trickster, weaving in and out of both the bad guys and the token young pretty boy (Robert Stack, whose role is played by Tim Matheson in the Brooks remake, and both starred in another war comedy, 1941, which centered on the same war and is named after the year before this picture came out): If anyone on board has the most work, it's Lombard.
Share This Post :
Tags : , , , , , ,

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.

All Time Popular

Featured Post

BRITISH STARLET CAROL WHITE WASHES UP ON 'HAWAII FIVE-0'

Carol White on Hawaii Five-O from 1974 The 1960's-era British blonde starlet Carol White randomly turned up on the small screen after he...

WWW.CULTFILMFREAKS.COM

WWW.CULTFILMFREAKS.COM
Movie Reviews, Interviews, Articles and Pop Culture from White Heat to Blue City

BRITISH NEW WAVE JANUARY

RIP ACTOR KEN HUTCHISON

TOTAL HITS

Popular Trending

FOUNDED BY JAMES M. TATE

FOUNDED BY JAMES M. TATE
RANDOM QUOTE: "That's all I am to you lot... a bleep." Tom Courtenay as Otley

CRIME/FILM NOIR/NEO NOIR


Gritty Exploitation Cinema of Charles Bronson

FAVORITES SHORTLIST

1)OTLEY 2)THE FEARMAKERS 3)CANYON PASSAGE 4)HOT CARS 5)THE CROWDED SKY 6)RAIDERS FROM BENEATH THE SEA 7)VIOLENT SATURDAY 8)JUNGLE STREET 9)THE MAN FROM LARAMIE 10)HELL IS A CITY 11))ANATOMY OF A MURDER 12)SHARKS' TREASURE 13)SWEENEY TWO 14)HARDCORE 15)FRENZY 16)THE SYSTEM 17)WHITE HEAT 18)THE SERGEANT 19)AL CAPONE 20)FALLEN ANGEL 21)ASH WEDNESDAY 22)CURSE OF THE DEMON 23)ATLANTIC CITY 24)KILLER FISH 25)AIR PATROL 26)DUEL IN THE JUNGLE 27)EASY LIVING 28)WILLIAM CONRAD'S BRAINSTORM 29)VENOM 30)THE ROARING TWENTIES 1)DANA ANDREWS 2)JAMES CAGNEY 3)JACK NICHOLSON 4)MARLON BRANDO 5)CHARLES BRONSON DAMES 1)VIRGINIA MAYO 2)SUE LYON 3)GENE TIERNEY 4)MERRY ANDERS 5)FAYE DUNAWAY DIRECTORS 1)JACQUES TOURNEUR 2)RICHARD FLEISCHER 3)STANLEY KUBRICK 4)ORSON WELLES 5)OTTO PREMINGER 6)JOHN LANDIS 7)JOHN GUILLERMAN 8)VAL GUEST 9)JOHN CARPENTER 10)MICHAEL WINNER

BRITISH NEW WAVE CINEMA

RARITIES AND EXPLOITATION

HAMMER HORROR & THRILLER

Popular This Month

WESTERN GENRE REVIEWS

CINEMA OF DANA ANDREWS

PEAKING INTO THE SIXTIES

KICKING IN THE EIGHTIES

TALES AND REFLECTIONS

REVVING THE SEVENTIES

FOR HORROR MOVIE REVIEWS

Most Popular Last Year

RETURN TO THE HOMEPAGE