mike@projection-booth.com mike@projection-booth.com

January 15, 2019

Episode 399: To Be or Not to Be (1942)

Special Guest: Joseph McBride
Guest Co-Hosts: Lutz Bacher, Ken Stanley, Paula Guthat

We conclude our discussion about Ernst Lubitsch with a discussion of his 1942 film To Be or Not To Be, the story of Joseph and Maria Tura (Jack Benny and Carole Lombard), two actors in Poland who are in a current run of Shakespeare’s Hamlet though working on a new play called Gestapo. The new play never happens on stage but they’re able to act it out in real life after Poland falls to the Nazis. The film is one of the first films to openly lampoon Nazis, made in a time before Pearl Harbor -- though released afterward -- in a time when mocking Nazis wasn’t as acceptable as it should have been.

Recorded at the studios of Podcast Detroit, Paula Guthat, Ken Stanley, and Lutz Bacher join Mike to talk about this stellar comedy of manners. In the first of a two-part interview, Joseph McBride talks about his latest book, How Did Lubitsch Do It?

Listen/Download Now:

Buy To Be or Not To Be on Blu-Ray
Buy The Mel Brooks Collection on DVD
Buy Fireball: Carole Lombard and the Mystery of Flight 3 by Robert Matzen
Buy The Big Screen Comedies of Mel Brooks by Robert Alan Crick
Buy How Did Lubitsch Do It? by Joseph McBride
Buy Herbert Marshall: A Biography by Scott O'Brien
] Buy Kay Francis - I Can't Wait To Be Forgotten - Her Life on Film and Stage by Scott O'Brien
Buy Ernst Lubitsch's American Comedy by William Paul
Buy Ernst Lubitsch: Laughter in Paradise by Scott Eyman
Read Ernst Lubitsch: 10 essential films by David Parkinson
Visit the Ernst Lubitsch fan site

"To Be or Not to Be (The Hitler Rap)" - Mel Brooks


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