To Be or Not To Be (1942) Movie Review Summary

Actors: Jack Benny, Carole Lombard

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of To Be or Not To Be (1942)

   The movie is set in Poland just as the Nazi Party is taking over. Joseph Tura, a Polish actor, and his actress wife Maria, find their play, based on Hitler, has been shut down due to the Nazis. The Turas are angry and join an underground movement to foil the Nazis. However, they soon find out that someone they thought was on their side has betrayed them and they must stop him before he reveals important information to the Third Reich. Maria and Joseph go undercover and pretend to be Nazi sympathizers, but they have many close calls.
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   This is a movie that was made and released shortly before the death of Carole Lombard. It was a rarity at the time because the film openly mocked Hitler and the Nazis at a time when they were in power. Because of its sensitve topic (Nazi occuptation in Poland), many at the time were uncomfortable with the idea of a comedy being made about this, but the film is sensitive to the subject and the humor is directed at the stupidity and blind following of the S.S.

Carole Lombard is amazing as an actress who has to deal with admirers behind her husband's back and use her charms to fool the Nazis. Jack Benny is hilarious as a ham actor whose first concern is always his performance.
The review of this Movie prepared by Krysten Weller

Released in 1942, this black and white comedy was a direct hit at the ever-present Nazi machine. Scathing in its humor and message, "To Be or Not To Be" is about a company of Polish actors at the time of the German invasion of Warsaw. Starring Jack Benny and Carole Lombard, it is the
"war" they wage on the bumbling--but cruel--Nazis. It's a laugh a minute as this Polish "underground" troup fights to save the real Resistance!
The review of this Movie prepared by Bill Hobbs

Script Analysis of To Be or Not To Be (1942)

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Plot & Themes

Comedy, primarily    -   Yes Time/era of movie:    -   1930's-1950's Comedy or Parody about    -   spies

Main Character

Identity:    -   Male Profession/status:    -   actor Age:    -   20's-30's Ethnicity/Nationality    -   German    -   Eastern European


Europe    -   Yes European country:    -   Eastern Europe Misc setting    -   theater

Writing Style

Accounts of torture and death?    -   generic/vague references to death/punishment    -   moderately detailed references to deaths Any profanity?    -   None

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Note: the views expressed here are only those of the reviewer(s).
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